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Berthouville Treasure at Getty Villa in Malibu.

  • 24 Sep 2016
  • 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum

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Berthouville Treasure at Getty Villa in Malibu.  


The tour will begin at noon , followed by a late lunch at Andre's  around 2:00pm. The tour is free, but each participants is responsible for their own lunch payment. 

More info : 

The Berthouville Treasure of Roman Silver from the collection of the Cabinet des medailles at the Biblotheque nationale de France is displayed in its entirety for the first time outside of France at the GettyVilla, the Malibu recreation of a Roman villa and original location of the J. Paul Getty Museum, through August 17, 2015. Most of the materials on display were dedicated to the god Mercury, the remains of whose temple was located at Berthouville. The treasure contains some of the finest Roman silver objects surviving today. The treasure was heavily encrusted and damaged by its many centuries in the ground when it was found by a farmer in 1830. The area where it was found was partially excavated twice in the 19th century. Like other early discoveries of precious metal, the treasure narrowly escaped being melted down. Early cleanings and attempts at restoration in the 19th century did much to damage the originals. Since 2010, Getty Museum conservators have meticulously restored the objects and detailed technical and historical research has been undertaken.

A number of the most opulent silverworks have inscriptions identifying the donor as a Roman citizen named Quintus Domitius Tutus. Many objects in the treasure appear more suited for private luxury and feasting, and they contain Bacchic motifs and mythological scenes, and are thought to have been personal luxury goods later given to the temple. In addition to the 90 silver objects of the Berthouville treasure, the exhibition includes other extraordinary luxury items on loan from the Cabinet des medailles: four newly restored Late Antique missoria, cameos, intaglios, gold coins and jewelry, marbles, and bronzes. The missoria are known as “shields” but are actually large platters for display. The two largest are the “Shield of Scipio” (discovered in the Rhone in 1636) and “Shield of Hannibal” (found in the Alps in 1714).

Kenneth Lapatin, exhibition curator and associate curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum said, “We are privileged that our colleagues in Paris have entrusted us with these exquisite objects. The opportunity to study them over an extended period of time has produced valuable new insights about the unsurpassed artistry of ancient Roman silversmiths.”

The exhibition will travel to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, before returning to France.

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