For the first time, the pioneering book that launched the study of art and curiosity cabinets is available in English.
Julius von Schlosser’s Die Kunst- und Wunderkammern der Spätrenaissance (Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance) is a seminal work in the history of art and collecting. Originally published in German in 1908, it was the first study to interpret sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cabinets of wonder as precursors to the modern museum, situating them within a history of collecting going back to Greco-Roman antiquity. In its comparative approach and broad geographical scope, Schlosser’s book introduced an interdisciplinary and global perspective to the study of art and material culture, laying the foundation for museum studies and the history of collections. Schlosser was an Austrian professor, curator, museum director, and leading figure of the Vienna School of art history whose work has not achieved the prominence of his contemporaries until now.
This eloquent and informed translation is preceded by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann’s substantial introduction. Tracing Schlosser’s biography and intellectual formation in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, it contextualizes his work among that of his contemporaries, offering a wealth of insights along the way.
This volume aims to uncover the many reasons why the Middle Ages have proven so applicable to a variety of modern moments from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century. These “medieval” worlds are often the perfect ground for exploring contemporary cultural concerns and anxieties, saying much more about the time and place in which they were created than they do about the actual conditions of the medieval period. With over 140 color illustrations, from sources ranging from thirteenth-century illuminated manuscripts to contemporary films and video games, and a preface by Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton, The Fantasy of the Middle Ages will surprise and delight both enthusiasts and scholars.
This title is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from June 21 to September 11, 2022.
“[A] spirited and deeply researched project…. [Benkemoun’s] affection for her subject is infectious. This book gives a satisfying treatment to a woman who has been conﬁned for decades to a Cubist’s limited interpretation.” — Joumana Khatib, The New York Times
Merging biography, memoir, and cultural history, this compelling book, a bestseller in France, traces the life of Dora Maar through a serendipitous encounter with the artist’s address book.
In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.
After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.
Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.
Samuel Quiccheberg’s Inscriptiones, first published in Latin in 1565, is an ambitious effort to demonstrate the pragmatic value of curiosity cabinets, or Wunderkammern, to princely collectors in sixteenth-century Europe and, by so doing, inspire them to develop their own such collections. Quiccheberg shows how the assembly and display of physical objects offered nobles a powerful means to expand visual knowledge, allowing them to incorporate empirical and artisanal expertise into the realm of the written word. But in mapping out the collectability of the material world, Quiccheberg did far more than create a taxonomy. Rather, he demonstrated how organizing objects made their knowledge more accessible; how objects, when juxtaposed or grouped, could tell a story; and how such strategies could enhance the value of any single object.
Quiccheberg’s descriptions of early modern collections provide both a point of origin for today’s museums and an implicit critique of their aims, asserting the fundamental research and scholarly value of collections: collections are to be used, not merely viewed. The First Treatise on Museums makes Quiccheberg’s now rare publication available in an English translation. Complementing the translation are a critical introduction by Mark A. Meadow and a preface by Bruce Robertson.
For centuries, anatomy was a fundamental component of artistic training, as artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo sought to skillfully portray the human form. In Europe, illustrations that captured the complex structure of the body—spectacularly realized by anatomists, artists, and printmakers in early atlases such as Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica libri septem of 1543—found an audience with both medical practitioners and artists.
Flesh and Bones examines the inventive ways anatomy has been presented from the sixteenth through the twenty-first century, including an animated corpse displaying its own body for study, anatomized antique sculpture, spectacular life-size prints, delicate paper flaps, and 3-D stereoscopic photographs. Drawn primarily from the vast holdings of the Getty Research Institute, the over 150 striking images, which range in media from woodcut to neon, reveal the uncanny beauty of the human body under the skin.
The first comprehensive catalogue of the Getty Museum’s significant collection of French Rococo ébénisterie furniture.
This catalogue focuses on French ébénisterie furniture in the Rococo style dating from 1735 to 1760. These splendid objects directly reflect the tastes of the Museum’s founder, J. Paul Getty, who started collecting in this area in 1938 and continued until his death in 1976.
The Museum’s collection is particularly rich in examples created by the most talented cabinet masters then active in Paris, including Bernard van Risenburgh II (after 1696–ca. 1766), Jacques Dubois (1694–1763), and Jean-François Oeben (1721–1763). Working for members of the French royal family and aristocracy, these craftsmen excelled at producing veneered and marquetried pieces of furniture (tables, cabinets, and chests of drawers) fashionable for their lavish surfaces, refined gilt-bronze mounts, and elaborate design. These objects were renowned throughout Europe at a time when Paris was considered the capital of good taste.
The entry on each work comprises both a curatorial section, with description and commentary, and a conservation report, with construction diagrams. An introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas traces the collection’s acquisition history, and two technical essays by Arlen Heginbotham present methodologies and findings on the analysis of gilt-bronze mounts and lacquer.
The free online edition of this open-access publication is available at www.getty.edu/publications/rococo/ and includes zoomable, high-resolution photography. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.
Book of the Year, Apollo Magazine, 2013
Revered and misunderstood by his peers and lauded by later generations as the father of modern art, Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) has long been a subject of fascination for artists and art lovers, writers, poets, and philosophers. His life was a ceaseless artistic quest, and he channeled much of his wide-ranging intellect and ferocious wit into his letters. Punctuated by exasperated theorizing and philosophical reflection, outbursts of creative ecstasy and melancholic confession, the artist’s correspondence reveals both the heroic and all-toohuman qualities of a man who is indisputably among the pantheon of all-time greats.
This new translation of Cézanne’s letters includes more than twenty that were previously unpublished and reproduces the sketches and caricatures with which Cézanne occasionally illustrated his words. The letters shed light on some of the key artistic relationships of the modern period—about one third of Cézanne’s more than 250 letters are to his boyhood companion Émile Zola, and he communicated extensively with Camille Pissarro and the dealer Ambroise Vollard. The translation is richly annotated with explanatory notes, and, for the first time, the letters are cross-referenced to the current catalogue raisonné. Numerous inaccuracies and archaisms in the previous English edition of the letters are corrected, and many intriguing passages that were unaccountably omitted have been restored. The result is a publishing landmark that ably conveys Cézanne’s intricacy of expression.
Peter Paul Rubens’s fascinating depiction of a man wearing Korean costume of around 1617, in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, has been considered noteworthy since it was made. Published to accompany an exhibition of Rubens’s Man in Korean Costume at the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 5 to June 9, 2013, Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia explores the various facets of Rubens’s compelling drawing of this Asian man that appears in later Rubens works. This large drawing was copied in Rubens’s studio during his own time and circulated as a reproductive print in the eighteenth century. Despite the drawing’s renown, however, the reasons why it was made and whether it actually depicts a specific Asian person remain a mystery. The intriguing story that develops involves a shipwreck, an unusual hat, the earliest trade between Europe and Asia, the trafficking of Asian slaves, and the role of Jesuit missionaries in Asia.
The book’s editor, Stephanie Schrader, traces the interpretations and meanings ascribed to this drawing over the centuries. Could Rubens have actually encountered a particular Korean man who sailed to Europe, or did he instead draw a model wearing Asian clothing or simply hear about such a person? What did Europeans really know about Korea during that period, and what might the Jesuits have had to do with the production of this drawing? All of these questions are asked and explored by the book’s contributors, who look at the drawing from various points of view.
“This fine new translation by Timothy Grundy of Anton Wagner's Los Angeles with Edward Dimendberg's lucidly probing introduction constitutes a major contribution to urban history and our understanding of one of the world's most enigmatic and significant cities.”
—Thomas S. Hines, Research Professor of History and Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA
“Edward Dimendberg has done a remarkable job bringing Anton Wagner's classic study of Los Angeles to a wider readership. This landmark publication will enable many strands of urban scholarship to enter into dialogue for the first time.”
—Matthew Gandy, Professor of Geography, University of Cambridge, and author of Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space (2022)
The Middle East played a critical role in the development of photography as a new technology and an art form. Likewise, photography was instrumental in cultivating and maintaining Europe’s distinctively Orientalist vision of the Middle East. As new advances enhanced the versatility of the medium, nineteenth-century photographers were able to mass-produce images to incite and satisfy the demands of the region’s burgeoning tourist industry and the appetites of armchair travelers in Europe. In this way, the evolution of modern photography fueled an interest in visual contact with the rest of the world.
Photography’s Orientalism offers the first in-depth cultural study of the works of European and non- European photographers active in the Middle East and India, focusing on the relationship between photographic, literary, and historical representations of this region and beyond. The essays explore the relationship between art and politics by considering the connection between the European presence there and aesthetic representations produced by traveling and resident photographers, thereby contributing to how the history of photography is understood.
The mosaics in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum span the second through the sixth centuries AD and reveal the diversity of compositions found throughout the Roman Empire during this period. Elaborate floors of stone and glass tesserae transformed private dwellings and public buildings alike into spectacular settings of vibrant color, figural imagery, and geometric design. Scenes from mythology, nature, daily life, and spectacles in the arena enlivened interior spaces and reflected the cultural ambitions of wealthy patrons. This online catalogue documents all of the mosaics in the Getty Museum’s collection, presenting their artistry in new color photography as well as the contexts of their discovery and excavation across Rome's expanding empire—from its center in Italy to provinces in southern Gaul, North Africa, and ancient Syria.
The free online edition of this open-access catalogue, available at www.getty.edu/publications/romanmosaics/, includes zoomable high-resolution photography, embedded glossary terms and additional comparative images, and interactive maps drawn from the Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book, CSV and JSON downloads of the object data from the catalogue, and JPG and PPT downloads of the main catalogue images.
An exploration of how an official French visual culture normalized France’s colonial project and exposed citizens and subjects to racialized ideas of life in the empire.
By the end of World War I, having fortified its colonial holdings in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Asia, France had expanded its dominion to the four corners of the earth. This volume examines how an official French visual culture normalized the country’s colonial project and exposed citizens and subjects alike to racialized ideas of life in the empire. Essays analyze aspects of colonialism through investigations into the art, popular literature, material culture, film, and exhibitions that represented, celebrated, or were created for France’s colonies across the seas.
These studies draw from the rich documents and media—photographs, albums, postcards, maps, posters, advertisements, and children’s games—related to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century French empire that are held in the Getty Research Institute’s Association Connaissance de l’histoire de l’Afrique contemporaine (ACHAC) collections. ACHAC is a consortium of scholars and researchers devoted to exploring and promoting discussions of race, iconography, and the colonial and postcolonial periods of Africa and Europe.
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