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On the Hilltop

Nicholas Penny: How the Getty spends its money, 4 January 2007

Guide to the Getty Villa 
by Kenneth Lapatin et al.
Getty, 131 pp., £8.50, June 2006, 0 89236 828 4
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History of the Art of Antiquity 
by Johann Joachim Winckelmann, translated by Harry Francis Mallgrave.
Getty, 431 pp., £45, March 2006, 0 89236 668 0
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The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing 
by T.J. Clark.
Yale, 260 pp., £20, August 2006, 0 300 11726 4
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... Like many other plutocrats who are now remembered as great collectors, J. Paul Getty began acquiring works of art in a serious way when he began to die – that is to say, in his forties (he was born in 1892), which is when most of us start thinking up ways of not thinking about mortality. He bought glamorous pieces of French furniture and decorative art, a field in which it is relatively easy to buy reliable advice ...

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