Additional Resources & Information
Palmyrene funerary portraits offer an intimate glimpse into an ancient culture and reveal how its
diverse inhabitants wanted to be remembered. In this video, scholars of Palmyra's art and
archaeology explain why the need to protect and study these sculptures helps to preserve the legacy
of this Syrian city.
Runtime: 7 min.
The funerary monuments of Palmyra, Syria, constitute the single largest group of portraits that have
survived from an ancient city within the Roman Empire. In this talk, archaeologist Rubina Raja
discusses the unique funerary portrait tradition of ancient Palmyra and the recent looting and
destruction of its monuments resulting from the Syrian war.
Runtime: 62 min.
Recent political unrest in Syria has progressed into a devastating conflict that has targeted and
looted heritage sites, most notably the ancient caravan city of Palmyra. In the battle for Aleppo, a
bombing campaign and street-by-street fighting have effectively leveled one of the oldest,
continuously populated, and architecturally rich cities in the world. A panel of specialists
discusses the unfolding consequences of war on historic sites and monuments throughout the
Combined runtime: 163 min.
Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and web designers Masato Nakada and Karen To Nakada discuss the
challenges of bringing 18th-century prints and 19th-century photographs into a digital environment
as part of Getty Research Institute's first online exhibition. Rare collection materials that
inspired the online design are presented.
Runtime: 13 min.
Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto presents the rarely seen images of a three-year diplomatic voyage to
the Ottoman court undertaken by artist and architect Louis-François Cassas (French, 1756–1827)
beginning in 1784. Cassas created hundreds of detailed drawings of ancient monuments; a rare and
significant collection of these proof prints are part of the Research Institute's collections.
Runtime: 15 min.
Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and art historian Jane Friedman look at the 19th-century travel
account of Emily Anne Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, who undertook a two-year expedition through
the Middle East. Her illustrated description provided a vicarious adventure and sought to assure
individuals—particularly women—that travel could be performed with "ease and security"
in the region.
Runtime: 15 min.