February 23, 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum Introduces the Getty Museum Distinguished Lectures Series

For its debut, the Getty Museum Distinguished Lectures series invites noted scholar Richard Brettell to analyze modern beauty in the work of Manet, Gauguin and Cézanne.

Valerie Tate
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6861

Édouard Manet (French, 1832 - 1883). Jeanne (Spring), 1881, Oil on canvas. 29 1/8 × 20 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES –The J. Paul Getty Museum launches its Getty Museum Distinguished Lecture series on Sunday, February 28, with the first of a three-part program Toward a Modern Beauty: Manet, Gauguin, Cézanne. Leading scholar of Impressionism Richard Brettell has selected three paintings from the Getty Museum’s collection, each addressing a radically new and different form of beauty in French modern painting. At the conclusion of the third talk, Edward Goldman, host of KCRW’s "Art Talk," joins Brettell to discuss the lectures.

The first lecture, on Sunday, February 28, focuses on Édouard Manet’s Le Printemps, a newly acquired work in the Museum’s collection. In the painting, a chic young woman in a day dress with floral accents (aspiring Parisian actress Jeanne Demarsy) is depicted as the embodiment of Spring. When composing the painting, Manet had in view both the latest fashion trends and old artistic traditions. More than just an ephemeral fashion plate, Manet’s archetypal Spring was conceived as a picture for the ages, summarizing his modern epoch through the figure of a beautiful Parisienne.

The second lecture, on Tuesday, March 1, takes as its subject Arii Matamoe by Paul Gauguin. The artist painted this startling image of a decapitated human head during his first stay in Polynesia in the early 1890s. The notion of a human head ritually displayed in an ornate interior suggests the formality of a ruler lying in state, supported by the presence of sorrowful figures in the background. In his collage-illustrated book Noa Noa Gauguin included a copy of this painting and a comment that he thought of Pomare’s death as a metaphor for the loss of native culture due to European colonization.

The final lecture, on Thursday, March 3, examines Paul Cézanne’s Young Italian Woman at a Table. Resting her head in her hand, this young woman looks out with an enigmatic expression. Since the Renaissance, artists have used this pose to portray melancholy. The pose, combined with the woman’s unreadable face, gives a human poignancy and psychological tension to the figure. Questions about the space around the woman created by Cezanne’s unusual composition add tension to the human drama.

The Getty Museum Distinguished Lecture series is free; a separate reservation is required for each lecture. All lectures take place in at the the Getty Center. For tickets and information visit .

About Richard Brettell

Richard Brettell is the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies and the Edith O’Donnell Distinguished University Chair at the University of Texas in Dallas. He is among the world’s foremost authorities on Impressionism and French painting from 1830 to 1930. His museum exhibition work includes Monet in Normandy (for the de Young Museum in San Francisco) and The Impressionist in the City: Pissarro’s Series (for the Dallas Museum of Art). He has given scholarly lectures at numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art, and has written over 25 books, including Impression: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890.

The 2016 Getty Museum Distinguished Lectures Series

Édouard Manet, Le Printemps (Jeanne Demarsy)
Date: Sunday, February 28
Time: 2:00 p.m.

Paul Gauguin, Arii Matamoe (The Royal End)
Date: Tuesday, March 1
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Paul Cézanne, Young Italian Woman at a Table
Date: Thursday, March 3
Time: 7:00 p.m.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

Visiting the Getty Center
The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and most major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 4 p.m. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

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