Making history one brushstroke at a time

9 May — 30 Jul 2017 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, United States

18 MAY 2017
The Musical Performance in the Teatro Argentina in Honor of the Marriage of the Dauphin, 1747, Giovanni Paolo Panini, oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures. Image © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
The Musical Performance in the Teatro Argentina in Honor of the Marriage of the Dauphin, 1747, Giovanni Paolo Panini, oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures. Image © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

From Paris to Venice to Rome, Europe’s most iconic cities have played host to magnificent ceremonies and dramatic events—and artists have been there to record them.

During the eighteenth century, princes, popes, and ambassadors commissioned master painters such as Canaletto and Panini to record memorable moments, from the Venetian carnival to eruptions of Vesuvius, inspiring what became the golden age of view paintings.

This first exhibition focusing on views of historic events includes more than 40 works, many never seen before in the U.S. These paintings turn the viewer into an eyewitness on the scene, bringing the spectacle and drama of history to life.