From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything, That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him, Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Of different flowers in odor and in hue, Could make me any summer’s story tell, Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew. Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white, Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; They were but sweet, but figures of delight, Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away, As with your shadow I with these did play.
—William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564
Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.

—William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Lots and lots of photos of tapestries + Italian art and architecture are now part of our Open Content Program.
All of the images, none of the guilt

Lots and lots of photos of tapestries + Italian art and architecture are now part of our Open Content Program.

All of the images, none of the guilt

Winter is coming. All men must die. And Game of Thrones is back!
Stay tuned each week as we unpack Sunday’s episodes through artworks.

A lot happened in this episode for most of the major characters involved, but then again, nothing earth-shattering happened.

We saw a witness to a murder flee the scene of the crime in a boat concealed by a fog bank; we got a lesson in kingship (N.B. wisdom is the greatest strength); a burial scene got steamy with, um, incestuous rape; two lovers fled an awkwardly male-dominated residence for an ironically female-dominated one; we watched a little girl give an old man a reading lesson; a pair of travelers took advantage of a feeble old man; there was a fierce massacre (and some cannibalism) and a bisexual brothel trist; a prison cell conversation turned emo real fast (*feels*); and the sphinxes of a foreign city may prove no match for the might of a slave-freeing, dragon rearing queen, especially when her unmounted knight bests the enemy’s horse-bound champion.

In anticipation of Earth Day, the wonder of looking up at ancient giants. 
These giant sequoias are in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Watkins spent decades photographing this area, opening the Yosemite Art Gallery in 1867.
Among the Treetops, Calaveras Grove, about 1878, Carleton Watkins, albumen print. J. Paul Getty Museum.

In anticipation of Earth Day, the wonder of looking up at ancient giants. 

These giant sequoias are in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Watkins spent decades photographing this area, opening the Yosemite Art Gallery in 1867.

Among the Treetops, Calaveras Grove, about 1878, Carleton Watkins, albumen print. J. Paul Getty Museum.


"Everything changes, even stone."  —Monet

The colors of Rouen Cathedral in morning light in 1894.

"Everything changes, even stone."  Monet

The colors of Rouen Cathedral in morning light in 1894.

Walking through history.

Walking through history.

It’s National Library Week!

Visit the Getty Research Institute’s RSS feed at the Internet Archive. We scan and upload thousands of texts a month, including this recent addition, “Les Types de Paris,” a 19th-century book featuring drawings and writings about “typical” Parisians.

Illustrations from “Les Types de Paris,” 1889, Edmond de Goncourt (author) and Jean-François Raffaëlli (artist). Getty Research Institute.

Another gruesome manuscript match up based on last night’s Game of Thrones from our Medieval manuscripts curator:

"Last week it was cannibalism, this week it’s death by fire. We saw supposed heretics burned at the stake to satisfy the fire god, the Lord of Light (or at least his uber-creepy, crimson-clad priestess).
In this illumination, even knights aren’t untouchable to the torch. The Pope crushed the chivalric order and after a series of confessions, the grand master of the Knights Templar was burned as a heretic.”

Heated tempers all around.

Another gruesome manuscript match up based on last night’s Game of Thrones from our Medieval manuscripts curator:

"Last week it was cannibalism, this week it’s death by fire. We saw supposed heretics burned at the stake to satisfy the fire god, the Lord of Light (or at least his uber-creepy, crimson-clad priestess).

In this illumination, even knights aren’t untouchable to the torch. The Pope crushed the chivalric order and after a series of confessions, the grand master of the Knights Templar was burned as a heretic.”

Heated tempers all around.

Winter is coming. All men must die. And Game of Thrones is back!
Stay tuned each week as we unpack Sunday’s episodes through medieval masterpieces.

A lot happened in this super intense episode! What did we learn? Weddings, sadistic human hunts, and burning heretics never end well; perplexing visions of crows and apocalyptic omens flying above a key city somehow make sense to a young paraplegic; the flirty exchange of glances between two handsome princes does not go unnoticed, especially by one’s future wife’s brother-lover; fools can come to the rescue in a time of need; and even though Joffrey may have cut up a book, the writing of his legacy was already on the wall…

This beautiful photochrom print of Marshall Pass in Colorado features a sign of the changing times. Made in the 1880s, it depicts an early moment during the westward move by settlers. 
Can you spot the billowing steam engine?

This beautiful photochrom print of Marshall Pass in Colorado features a sign of the changing times. Made in the 1880s, it depicts an early moment during the westward move by settlers. 

Can you spot the billowing steam engine?

You could easy stare at this work for five minutes. This painting is incredibly detailed and only about the size of a laptop screen. Tiny figures sell pretzels, hold weird demonic-looking babies (not an art historical term!), ignore the serman, suspiciously glance at each other, and seamlessly fade into the crowd. Jesus is present too, can you spot him?

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our social media coordinator, Sarah.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here

The Sermon on the Mount, 1598, Jan Brueghel the Elder. J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Spend five minutes with this nine-foot-tall vase. Look for the army of snails with their little horns, all different one from another, featured with such naturalism at the very bottom: it appears they are climbing in slow motion, inching along to the top. And so should you, with your eyes.

Look in a spiral and move around, up, and down to jump into a fantastic symbolist universe where you’ll discover a spider, a strange batman, lace, ribbons, the signature of the artist, the date of the piece, and the foundry mark of the Brussels foundry. Only a slow viewing allows you to appreciate the incredible twisting of the handles or the details of the peacock feathers at the very top.”

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our decorative arts & sculpture curator, Anne-Lise Desmas.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here.

Vase (detail), 1889, Jean-Desire Ringel d’Illzach. Bronze and copper, 107 1/2 x 40 9/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Spend five minutes with Joseph Chinard’s Madame Récamier. Three reasons why: 1. the virtuosity of Chinard’s lifelike carving in terracotta; 2. the sitter’s allure, which is open to interpretation—is she coy or demure?; and 3. the renown of historical beauty Juliette Récamier herself. (I’ve looked at this sculpture for many, many minutes and written about it here.)” 

Recommended viewing for slowartday from a passionate decorative arts & sculpture educator, Christine Spier.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here.

Bust of Madame Recamier (detail), about 1801–02, Joseph Chinard. Terracotta, 24 7/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Spend five minutes with the Italian choir book featured in the exhibition Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads. It is one of the largest manuscripts in the Museum’s collection, but the intricacy of its pages is what I find compelling. The Latin words, the musical notation, the form of the letter “h” that encloses the scene of the Nativity, the monumental form of the Virgin, and the humble ox and donkey peeking over the edge of the manger at the Christ Child—all combine to remind me of why I love manuscripts.” 

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our manuscripts curator, Elizabeth Morrison.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wanter, click here.

Initial H: The Nativity (detail) in an Antiphonal, late 1200s, Master of Gerona. J. Paul Getty Museum.

"Spend five minutes with this sarcophagus and you’ll witness a whole night—and a passionate one at that. Zeus, somewhat put out because Selene (goddess of the moon) had fallen in love with the mortal Endymion, cast the beautiful young man into an eternal sleep. But that didn’t stop Selene from visiting her beloved every night. You can see her at the center of this sarcophagus as darkness falls, stepping off from her chariot. But as you look to the right, beyond the slumbering Endymion, the next day begins to dawn (too soon!), and the horses must rush the goddess of the moon away, until the next evening’s amorous encounter." 

Recommended viewing for slowartday from our antiquities curator, David Saunders.

To zoom in and let your “eyes” wander, click here.

Sarcophagus panel (detail), about A.D. 210, Roman. Marble, 84 1/4 in. long x 21 3/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 

note: loading more posts will reset any filters applied
More