August 10, 2021

Getty Research Journal, No. 14 is Now Available

Getty Research Journal, No. 14 is Now Available

Journal presents peer-reviewed articles on the visual arts of all cultures, regions, and time periods

LOS ANGELES, CA–The Getty Research Institute is pleased to announce the publication of the Getty Research Journal, issue number 14. First published in 2009, the Getty Research Journal presents peer-reviewed articles on the visual arts of all cultures, regions, and time periods. Topics relate to Getty collections, initiatives, and broad research interests. The journal welcomes a diversity of perspectives and methodological approaches and seeks to include work that expands narratives on global culture.

This issue features essays on a scientific examination of woven-gold fragments from the late Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman periods; a new attribution of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s sixteenth-century bust of Duke Ottavio Farnese to Lombard-born sculptor Giovanni Battista della Porta; a conservator’s technical summary on the bust of Farnese; an unsigned seventeenth-century manuscript on collecting ancient coins and recognizing counterfeits; two nineteenth-century photographic albums and the stock-photography market in 1860s Chile; Édouard Manet’s life-size Portrait of Madame Brunet and questions surrounding its sitter and early history; architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner’s changing attitude about the work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the 1950s and 1960s; and artist Allan Sekula’s photographic projects and working method.

Shorter texts include notices on designs for eighteenth-century dining and the influence of Huguenot immigrants in European circles; Willard Morgan’s photographs of modern architect Richard Neutra’s Lovell House; and a handwritten, unfinished essay by critic Clement Greenberg on surrealist writer and theorist André Breton.


Article Summaries

Vittae Auratae: Interpreting the History and Technology of a Group of Roman Gold Textile Fragments

Mary Louise Hart, Monica Ganio, Susan Lansing Maish, Douglas MacLennan, and Karen Trentelman

Fifty-six gold fragments—forty-nine woven textiles and seven segments of twisted cord—from the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum were the subject of an art historical and scientific study to ascertain their original form, function, and method of manufacture. The fragments were examined using noninvasive technologies, including digital microscopy, X-radiography, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopic (SEM-EDS) analysis and scanning macro-X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) spectroscopy. By these means, the authors have been able to determine details of the ancient weave and the chemical composition of the gold threads, in turn presenting digital reconstructions of the more well-preserved fragments. Historical research supports the interpretation of the reconstructed sections, suggesting that the original artifact closely resembles ribbons of woven gold (vittae) found in Italy and dating to the late Hellenistic through the early Imperial Roman periods (ca. 100 BCE–200 CE).


The Bust of Ottavio Farnese at the J. Paul Getty Museum: An Addition to the Corpus of Giovanni Battista della Porta

Luca Annibali

The various sculpted busts of Ottavio Farnese (1524–86), the second duke of Parma and Piacenza, are still at the center of debates of attribution. This article focuses on the Carrara-marble bust in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, proposing a new attribution to Lombard-born sculptor Giovanni Battista Della Porta (1542–97), one of the protagonists of the Roman artistic scene in the second half of the sixteenth century. While archival sources attest to Della Porta’s ambition to work in the service of the duke and to Farnese’s awareness of the sculptor’s artistic achievements, the attribution is largely based on comparisons with Della Porta’s works.


Conservator’s Note on the Bust of Ottavio Farnese at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Julie Wolfe

This technical summary describes the condition of the sixteenth-century bust of Ottavio Farnese at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The text, which describes the conservation treatment of the sculpture at the Getty, accompanies the essay by Luca Annibali in the same issue.


Discorso delle medaglie antiche: Collecting Ancient Coins and Detecting Fakes in Early Seventeenth-Century Rome

Giulia Zaccariotto

This article unearths a seventeenth-century manuscript on numismatics from the collections of the Getty Research Institute. This unique copy of Discorso delle medaglie antiche (Discourse on ancient medals), by an unidentified author and of which other nonidentical versions exist, is transcribed and studied here for the first time. Divided into nineteen chapters, the manuscript discusses the main precepts of collecting ancient coins and, above all, explains in detail how to recognize fakes produced by unscrupulous antiquarians. The final part of the manuscript instructs the collector on conserving, cleaning, and cataloging the coins. Various clues in the text place the manuscript in the Roman context of the first half of the seventeenth century and suggest that the author is numismatist Francesco Gottifredi: prime expert in recognizing forgeries, collector of rare Roman coins, and consultant to the most important collectors of his time.


Two Photographic Albums at the Getty and Their Relation to the Stock-Photography Market in 1860s Chile

Matthias Johannes Pfaller Schmid

The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute possess two nineteenth-century photographic albums containing views of Chile. While the two albums appear only loosely related, they are, in fact, quite connected. Through a synopsis of several similar albums in archives in Chile and Switzerland, a number of photographs can be linked to the same circle of photographers in Valparaiso. Besides new attributions, this comparison yields insights into the photographic business in the port city, shedding light on the importance of international partnerships between studios, the consolidation of a pool of photographs from certain Chilean sites, the passing down of this image stock, and the longevity of some of the vistas as national icons.


Manet’s Portrait of Madame Brunet: Recent Investigations

Scott Allan

Édouard Manet’s life-size Portrait of Madame Brunet is a key work from the artist’s early career, but it has yet to be the subject of a focused study. This essay, drawing on archival research and technical examination undertaken since the J. Paul Getty Museum acquired the painting in 2011, delves into lingering questions surrounding the identity of Madame Brunet, the portrait’s initial genesis and reception, and its early material history.


Nikolaus Pevsner, Photography, and the Architecture of Antoni Gaudí

Pep Avilés

International knowledge of the work of Antoni Gaudí increased during the postwar years and with it was an ongoing interest in positioning the work of the Catalan architect within modern historiography. Art and architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner’s discovery and evaluation of Gaudí’s work began in 1947, during the first discussions concerning the production of the Museum of Modern Art edition of Pevsner’s book Pioneers of Modern Design (1949). Pevsner’s preoccupation grew incrementally during the 1950s, becoming one of the most significant, albeit puzzling, additions to his work on modern architecture in the 1960s, when Pevsner argued that Gaudí was an “anti-pioneer” to the functional, progressive idea of modern architecture for which Pevsner advocated. This essay chronicles Pevsner’s changing attitudes toward Gaudí, borne out through multiple revised publications, to illuminate not only the attention given to Gaudí’s work in the two decades following the Second World War but also the evolving historical conditions for architecture and its criticism in this period.


Allan Sekula: Photographic Work

Andrew Witt

This essay examines the photographic output of Allan Sekula (1951–2013), focusing on the unrealized projects and abandoned works held in the collection of the Getty Research Institute. The artist’s archive spans the full spectrum of photographic work, including snapshots, test images, trials, uncompleted works, and unprinted images. Items also include Sekula’s notebooks, journals, correspondence, teaching notes, newspaper clippings, and photocopied texts. The archive is part of the fragmentary lifeworld of the artist in his studio, as it contains photographs that had been made and kept throughout Sekula’s life but were never incorporated into a complete sequence or finished work. The structure of his archive and the objects within it encourage us to consider not only Sekula’s vision of Los Angeles but also the greater social, political, and unconscious impulses that drive the making of images.


Shorter Notice Summaries

“A Performance for the Service of a Table”: New Light on Eighteenth-Century Dining

Tessa Murdoch

Eighteenth-century cookbooks from the Anne Willan and Mark Cherniavsky Gastronomy Collection at the Getty Research Institute and the gastronomy collection bequeathed to the Warburg Institute by Elizabeth David evidence for the influence of Huguenot immigrants on gastronomy in elite European circles. Recipes and ingredients inspired the forms of new vessels: the terrine for serving soup, the surtout in the table center for dessert fruits. During the 1730s, cookery writers Charles Carter and Vincent La Chapelle illustrated table settings enhanced by light from silver candlesticks for evening dining that resemble branch lights on candelabra made by goldsmith Paul de Lamerie in London for Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, and single candlesticks for Huguenot banker Peter Le Heup. Each set was personalized with the patron’s coat of arms. La Chapelle’s illustrations of the terrine and surtout set standards for similar vessels designed and supplied by other contemporary goldsmiths, including Nicholas Sprimont.


Picturing Modern Architecture: Photographer Willard Morgan and Richard Neutra’s Lovell House

Thomas S. Hines

As with much twentieth-century modernist architecture, the buildings of Richard Neutra (1892–1970) have achieved worldwide renown chiefly through the writings of critics and historians and the published images by architectural photographers. The most noted of Neutra’s photographers was Julius Shulman (1910–2009), who acknowledged that Neutra had been his mentor, teaching him how best to frame a building, inside and out, and situate it within its landscape and context. Less well known, however, is Willard Morgan (1900–1967), for whom Neutra was a mentor in much the same way, and who preceded Shulman’s work by a decade. Morgan was the first person to photograph one of Neutra’s—and modern architecture’s—seminal buildings: the famous Lovell Health House in Los Angeles for Philip and Leah Lovell, built in 1927–29. This article uncovers the relationship between Morgan and Neutra and foregrounds the significance of Morgan’s achievement.


Greenberg’s Marxism: Clement Greenberg’s Unfinished Essay Draft on André Breton’s “Political Position of Surrealism” (1935)

Daniel Neofetou

This article presents a previously unpublished transcript of an undated and incomplete handwritten essay on surrealist writer and theorist André Breton by American art critic Clement Greenberg. Illuminating in terms of the otherwise oblique connection between politics and avant-garde for the younger Greenberg, the precise nature of whose professed Marxism has long been contested. The draft was composed in response to Breton’s “Political Position of Surrealism” (1935). In his text, Greenberg argues that Breton is correct to claim that radical artists should not let questions of politics distract them from autonomous work. However, unlike Breton, he does not contend that this is the case because such artists will be vindicated by future audiences and should, accordingly, work in defiance of a mass audience. Rather, Greenberg argues that no other mode of working opens up new fields of aesthetic experience. He does, however, bemoan the state of affairs in which such art is inaccessible to the working class, calling for revolution to rectify it.


Getty Research Journal, No. 14

Getty Research Institute

224 pages, 7 x 10 inches

108 color illustrations, 1 table


ISBN 978-1-60606-746-8



For more information, or to request a PDF to review, please contact Maureen Winter, details provided below.



Maureen Winter, Getty Publications

(310) 440-6117


About Getty Publications:

Getty Publications produces award-winning titles that result from or complement the work of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Conservation Institute, and Getty Research Institute. This wide variety of books covers the fields of art, photography, archaeology, architecture, conservation, and the humanities for both the general public and specialists. Publications include illustrated works on artists and art history, exhibition catalogues, works on cultural history, research on the conservation of materials and archaeological sites, scholarly monographs, critical editions of translated works, comprehensive studies of Getty’s collections, and educational books on art to interest children of all ages.


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Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682


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