Paul Getty bought his first classical antiquity - a small terracotta sculpture - at auction in London in 1939. Over the next four decades, he became a passionate collector, and in the 1950s he created a trust for "the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge". Building on that early foundation, successive antiquities curators at the Getty Museum have amassed a collection that contains more than 50,000 ancient objects. In prose accompanied by a colour photograph of each object, this handbook of the Antiquities Collection presents nearly 200 of the Getty Museum's most important pieces, including J. Paul Getty's most prized possession, the "Lansdowne Herakles". Spanning thousands of years - from pre-classical times as far back as the third millennium BC through the 3rd century AD - the Getty Antiquities Collection encompasses the Cycladic, Greek, Etruscan, South Italian, Roman and Romano-Egyptian cultures. It includes ancient Greek vases; monumental marble sculptures and diminutive bronzes; Greek and Roman gems; and Hellenistic silverware, jewellery and glass. The handbook includes a foreword by museum director Deborah Gribbon and an introduction tracing the history of the collection by antiquities curator Marion True.
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