Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday 13 - 25!

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 Structure
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.

Infamous Pieces
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.

Interesting Pieces
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!

Missing Pieces
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.


Shesawriter said...

The detail on those pieces is extraordinary. Great pics!

Happy TT! My Thursday Thirteen is: 13 of the sexiest and/or most romantic love scene clips on film.

jenn said...

Interesting pictures.
Happy TT!

Sandee said...

Very nicely done. I enjoyed the tour. I would love to visit first hand. Have a great TT. :)

Nicholas said...

What a fascinating TT! How lucky you are, to be able to visit there.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yes! Another post about the tarts!

Just be sure to put these pictures in, too, for comparison. They are stunning; I want to go hang at this place awhile!

Natalie said...

Interesting! I haven't studied stuff like that since college. It's always nice to learn.

My T13 post is up, come check it out if you get a chance. :)

SJ Reidhead said...


The Pink Flamingo

damozel said...

What a gorgeous place.

Poor old Marsyas, he came to a bad end, huh? I love the kouros. I'm a big fan of all those kouroi and their ambiguous little half-smiles (cf. Camille Paglia). The Flatland Almanack --Damozel

*Rae* said...

Great post such beautiful pictures Happy TT & Happy Holidays

Darla said...

Oh, how very cool! I'd love to visit some day.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yo. Had to come back over and say that if you find the men to play ShapeShifter in real life, I'll make you a calendar.


(Think we ought to nag Rhian about that ShapeShifter logo she's been kind enough to make for me? Then we can get rolling with the merch!)

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Wow, Tilly, what a fabulous TT--so interesting! Loved the pics. I'd really love to visit this place. :-)

Janet said...

Thanks for the tour! Loved the centaur :-)