Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Phenomenal Getty Villa in Photos

Los Angeles - June 2016

When I arrived to L.A beginning of 2014 I visited the Getty Center where I spent a good few hours. I went into a discovery-walk mode, saw the Ansel Adams in-focus exhibit, and took lots of photos. It truly it an amazing place to get lost in time and space. Perhaps the only time which came close was at the Chicago Art Museum.

Then I heard of the Getty Villa in Malibu. I passed by it a couple of time, though I haven’t gone in until a few days ago when my aunt and cousin offered to go on Wednesday morning. My aunt has been before but it was a first for my cousin and myself. Tickets have to be purchased in advance and that’s what we did before heading there.

The area is spread across 64 acres which were bought by J. Paul Getty in 1945. The museum is on two levels and it is surrounded by four different gardens, all planted with species from the Mediterranean region. The museum first opened its doors in 1954. Then 20 years later in 1974, the new J. Paul Getty Museum opened in another location the one I had first visited.

According to the free “Map and Guide” pamphlet we were given at the entrance: 

The Getty Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house in Herculaneum buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Because most of the villa remains unexcavated, many of its architectural details are based on elements drawn from other ancient Roman homes in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.

The Getty Villa is not just a museum, it is also an educational center dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Now enough with words. Let us enjoy the silent beauty in this next photo series taken over the course of a few hours.

The Entry Pavillon by the South Parking

The Outdoor Theater and Auditorium with the museum entrance shown on the right

The Marbury Hall Zeus, King of the Olympian gods
Roman, made in Italy — A.D. 1-100

Pair of altars with Aphrodite and Adonis
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy — 400-375 B.C.

Enthroned Zeus
Greek, about 100 B.C

Roman — about A.D. 200
The Muses were nine goddesses of the arts and sciences who inspired poets and philosophers. This one is identified as Poluhymnia, the Muse of mine.

Roman — A.D. 175-200

My aunt decided that since I love women I should take a picture with another Venus.
I didn’t argue.

Roman — A.D. 200-250

Monsters and Minor Deities

Incense Burner Supported by Nike
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy — 500-480 B.C.

This was interesting. Since there are 1200 works of art at the Getty Villa, I couldn’t possibly photograph all pieces or read all signs. So I was kind of skimming through. The sign for the above sculpture, though, really caught my attention, especially the “Supported by Nike” part in the title. To my eyes, these three words were so out of place that for a brief moment I couldn’t believe how such renowned entity would sell some space for advertising money. And it’s Nike the shoes! 

A few seconds later, I realised that Nike was a goddess who personified victory. Also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory, her equivalent for the Romans is Victoria. So Nike are not supporting anything in such sense, but she is a Goddess depicted here carrying an incense burner. We truly live and learn.

The Picturesque Inner Peristyle

Leda and the Swan
Roman — A.D. 1-100
I stopped fighting my inner daemon; I’ve unleashed it
The Lansdowne Herakles
Roman — around A.D. 125

The above sculpture of the Greek hero Herakles with his lionskin and club was one of J. Paul Getty’s most prized possessions. It was actually what had inspired him to build this museum in the style of an ancient Roman villa.

Roman — A.D. 100-200

Herakles the great Greek hero was adopted by the Romans who called him Hercules. Once again he is here depicted with t
he skin Nemean lion and the club.

Poet as Orpheus with Two Sirens
Greek, made in Taras, South Italy — 350-300 B.C.

Relief with Achilles, Thetis, and Worshippers
Greek, from Thessaly — about 350 B.C.

The above relief shows members of a cult devoted to Achilles called the Achilleides
developed in the region of Thessaly in central Greece.

The Mazarin Venus
Roman, A.D. 100-200

Sarcophagus with scenes from the Life of Achilles
Romans, made in Attica, Greece — A.D. 180-220

The Peaceful East Garden
A fountain at the East Garden with statues which reminded me of Pink Floyd’s
Live in Pompeii
There is something captivating about those faces, not exactly sure what it is.

Grape/Vine Leaves at the Outer Peristyle

Without my aunt pointing it out, I wouldn’t have given it any special attention.
The Runner

Outer Peristyle

Around the Peristyle

The view of the Outer Peristyle from the second floor

Another angle of the Inner Peristyle
While waiting for my aunt and cousin to go to the bathrooms, I looked up
to see these stunning patterns, then I saw the ingrained
face on the hanging star’.
Mold-Blown Glass
Funerary Lion
Greek, made in Athens — around 310 B.C.

Folding Tripod with Horses
Roman — A.D. 250-300
At the top of this tripod there are three statuettes of horses at different ages.
The nursing foal represents infancy, the rearing stallion is shown in his prime,
and the horse drinking from a kantharos (ritual cup) symbolises old age.

Burial Gifts
The toys, figurines, and jewelry suggest that the deceased was a likely a girl 

Diana and Callisto Surrounded by a Hunt
Gallo-Roman, from Villelaure, France — A.D. 175-200
The Bear Hunt Mosaic
Roman, from
Baiae in west of Naples, Italy

 The ocean is visible from From the second floor

Mosaic with the Removal of Briseis
Roman, A.D. 100-200
Another angle of the Outer Peristyle

I was told at the beginning of the tour that probably there is no water in the
fountain because of the California drought. I didn’t really think so, and thought
they might be cleaning it. Then this sign. Kudos for being conscious, Getty Villa.
Greek, about 530 B.C or modern forgery

In Ancient Greek kouros meant “youth, boy, especially of noble rank”. Such
statues of nude young men, called Kouroi, represented the Greek’s physical ideal. 

I wanted to see for myself what the ideal was so I snapped one of Kouros’
caboose. Not bad.

Interestingly, Kouros was another name that caught my eyes since there is
Yves Saint Laurent fragrance called Kouros, which my dad had when I was a kid.
Shoot the Shooter

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