Last week I mentioned having spent some time at one of my favorite places, The Getty Villa. If you didn't know, this museum is a duplicate of the Villa deo Papiri in Herculaneum and houses JP Getty's collection of antiquities. The building has recently undergone almost 10 years of renovations. For a couple of years I spent at least a day a week up here, rifling through their old reading room. It's gone now, and so are many other things, but it is still worth a visit. They now both an indoor and outdoor theater, great lecture series, as well as visiting exhibitions. The one we saw was glass and it spanned ancient, historical, and modern examples of various pieces. I honestly wouldn't have picked this one as being interesting, but it was.
Enough, here are 13 highlights and a couple of low lights.
The outside peristyle is still the same - there's something rather relaxing about the Drunken Satyr, and his copatriot in debauchery at the other end. I could spend hours out here in the sun, listening to the water falls.
The east garden is the same as well, small, enclosed and totally peaceful. There are benches running along the path for sitting.
Okay, what's exciting about the roof of a parking garage? Nothing, other than it's a reclamation zone. That's right, despite being in an area prone to earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires, they still made an effort at conservation - kudos!
The inside of the museum circles around the inner peristyle. Nothing changed here, although walls have been put up so there's no more immediate view of the Lansdowne Herakles in his special marble alcove.
The Lansdown Herakles is a key piece to the collection and I think a real stunner. This is one the articles I studied in depth, and let me tell you, having to take pictures of a larger than life cock with a guard standing nearby laughing is no easy task.
There's been a problem with museums around the world and how they obtain some of their work. The Getty is caught up in this area, and the Italian government has asked for the return of this bronze. The Victorious Youth now has his own room, sealed so he doesn't fall apart so I guess he's staying for a long time.
This gentleman, the Getty Kouros [male] was accompanied by notes for the viewers to know of his dubious status - rather ingenious of the curators. He is either a pristine very early archaic [530 BC] statue, or a flawed forgery.
The Dionysus Herm, an odd gentleman with one eye watching you check out his cock and balls. It's hard not to.
The way this goddess is dressed makes the experts believes it's Aphrodite. If you can imagine this, her garments were red, pink, and blue, some paint still remains. What never fails to hold my interest is this lady's marble face. It's amazing how her hair, and most likely a veil, fell, but the face remained intact.
Folds, it's all about how the sculptors were able to make such perfect folds, while still remaining true to the body beneath. Later, came the wet fabric look, where the body is show with a thin piece of wet fabric over it [another incredible approach to stone] but in 475 BC, this was HOT!
The boys. I miss them so.
12. This centaur used to be the greeter at the old entrance, overlooking the outer peristyle. He is simply stunning.
13. Ahhh, Marsyas, used to rest just inside the inner peristyle, in the room of smaller greek objects. He isn't large, but he definitely packed a punch.
It's interesting how in contemporary times viewers think these pieces are stunning, but their original state is much more garish, gawdy, and scary looking. Maybe I'll do another list on what the gorgeous marble and bronze sculptures would have looked like all tarted up.