The Ripley Scroll, England, ca. 1700, Watercolor. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

The Art of Alchemy
At the Getty Research Institute, Getty Center
October 11, 2016–February 12, 2017
Alchemy, a subject that has long been shrouded in secrecy, was a mysterious mix of science and spirituality. Today, alchemy is regarded as the ancestor of modern chemistry, but throughout history, the practice of alchemy was considered an art. In medieval Europe, it was known as The Great Art. Over time, alchemy greatly influenced the shifting interpretations of the relationship among art, science, and natural philosophy. Drawing primarily from the collections of the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Art of Alchemy will display the critical impact of this arcane subject on artistic practice and expression from Greco-Egyptian antiquity to medieval Central Asia, and from the Islamic world to Europe during the Enlightenment and beyond.

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Amy Hood
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6427

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The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
October 11, 2016–January 1, 2017

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the manufacture of pigments and colored inks used for painting and writing manuscripts was part of the science of alchemy, a precursor of modern chemistry concerned with the transformation of matter. This exhibition examines colorants made from plants, minerals, and metals, as well as medieval recipes for pigments and imitation gold in a presentation that highlights the Getty’s ongoing research into the materials used by book illuminators. The manuscripts installation complements the concurrent Getty Research Institute’s exhibition The Art of Alchemy, which examines both the impact of alchemy around the world on artistic practice and its expression in visual culture from antiquity to the present.

For inquiries about additional images or materials, contact:
Valerie Tate
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6861

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