J Paul Getty Villa in Malibu

Many visit combined…

The Getty Villa

Alex and Carol’s friend Anita was visiting from the Gulf Coast and a nice outing to the Getty Villa was just the thing to conclude their time together. And oh what a gorgeous day it was.

We had the 10am entry on a Thursday and check it out, it was OURS for the first half-hour at least.
I know, a treat indeed.
This floor, I must have a picture from every visit.
They were running a huge Rubens exhibition called “Picturing Antiquity” and that was a treat too! (Villa website)

The Getty Villa Reopened

Welcome! Me, Jim, Ingalill, Rick.

Nestled in the hills of Malibu overlooking the blue Pacific, an environment much like that of the original villa.

Oh my goodness it’s like they opened the museum just for us and maybe 10 other people. It was Glorious! Look above, you can see from the entry plaza all the way, ALL the way through to the tiled fountain.

Through the inner peristyle…to the mosaic fountain below.

Spanish ocher-yellow marble staircase.
A little baby Bacchus…
Roman Glass

from the Getty website:

“A seated man is flanked by Sirens, creatures part bird and part woman, in this nearly life-size terracotta group. In Greek mythology, the singing of the Sirens lured sailors to their deaths, and so these mythical figures are often connected with the deceased. The seated man is also a singer, as shown by his open mouth and the pick (plektron) with which he plays his now-missing lyre, once cradled in his left arm. His precise identity, however, is uncertain. He might be Orpheus, who was famous for his singing and who helped Jason and his crew safely sail past the Sirens. But in art of the fourth century BC, Orpheus is usually shown wearing an elaborately embroidered costume that is not seen here. Therefore, the seated figure may be a mortal in the guise of a poet or singer. The precise meaning of the group has been the subject of extensive speculation, but perhaps the singer should be seen as prevailing over the Sirens and triumphing over death.

“It is likely that the group was made for a tomb. Originally brightly painted, it is an exceptional example of the terracotta sculpture characteristic of the Greek colonies in South Italy. Although terracotta sculpture is also found in mainland Greece, artists in the Greek colonies in South Italy used this medium with greater frequency and on a larger scale because there were few sources of good stone suitable for sculpting.”

Statue of Hercules (Lansdowne Herakles), AD 125. They have the room and it’s wonderful floor blocked off to guests, you can only peek in through the door.

from the Getty website:

“The Greek hero Herakles carries a club over his left shoulder and holds a lionskin in his right hand. These objects help identify the figure, since Herakles was often depicted with a club and the skin of the Nemean Lion, which he killed as his first labor. As is typical for depictions of Greek heroes, the young Herakles is shown nude, since the Greeks considered male nudity to be the highest form of beauty. No other god or hero is as frequently depicted in Greek and Roman art as is Herakles.

“The Lansdowne Herakles very likely was inspired by a lost Greek statue, probably from the school of Polykleitos from the 300s B.C. Found in 1790 near the ruins of the villa of the Roman emperor Hadrian at Tivoli outside Rome, this statue was one of numerous copies of Greek sculpture commissioned by Hadrian, who loved Greek culture. One of J. Paul Getty’s most prized acquisitions, the statue gets its name from Lord Lansdowne, who once owned the Herakles and displayed it in his home in London. Areas of restoration include the statue’s lower left leg and parts of both arms.”



Protective Spirits, Assyrian, 645–640 BC, Nineveh, North Palace, reign of Ashurbanipal, gypsum. British Museum, London, 1856,0909.27, 1856.” from the Assyria: Palace Art of Ancient Iraq exhibit.

They would put these images at the front door to ward off evil. Looks pretty effective.

Close-up of the figure in the pool below.
The Herb Garden undergoing reconstruction.

Thanks Rick for the picture and here’s to Next Time!

This is part of…

This is part of the original building which remained intact except for refurbishments. Built in the early 1970s, it is based on the designs of a Roman villa buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Text in italics copied…

The J Paul Getty Villa in Malibu

Text in italics copied from the J Paul Getty Museum’s website.

Bronze sculptures, replicas of statues found at the Villa dei Papiri, are placed in their ancient findspots. A peristyle, or covered walkway, surrounds the formal garden and leads visitors past illusionistic wall paintings to spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

From the parking you…

From the parking you pass though a series of walkways before arriving at this place:

The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater.

This 450-seat outdoor classical theater, based on ancient prototypes. I don’t know about ancient prototypes but it’s got might cool lines.

In the entry-way of…

In the entry-way of the gallery. Those eyes are historically correct and most of the statuary of this type has them. And when they don’t it’s even creepier because they leave the sockets empty.

Generally they position the…

Generally they position the statuary so you may enjoy it from many interesting angles and being outside these works absorb the qualities of the day. He’s the same as the guy above but from a different angle and on a different day.

I went up to…

December 1

I went up to the Getty Villa today with Gina. We were sitting outside the café, catching up on our lives and I allowed as how I take pictures almost every day, just travelogue/diary stuff, and how I never tire of it, and that I’m never not intrigued by some view .. like those very shadows ‘right there’.

I asked about the…

I asked about the geometric patterns here in the Inner Peristyle. The guide went on about Romans inventing cement. I’m guessing it has to be appropriate to the era or they wouldn’t have done it.

The colors are not the same as before the renovation but the concept, or so they say, is still correct.

and some end-of-April…

May 1 and some end-of-April stories.

Click here for an update to the Getty Villa in Malibu.

I was checking on the internet to make a reservation just to have one because I know rezzies are so hard to get. Wow, there was Nothing available At All (they open reservations only 3 months in advance) except Today. Get up and go Today. So Nancy came by and we went.

The Getty Villa houses…

The Getty Villa houses the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection of approximately 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities. Over 1,200 works are on view in 23 galleries devoted to the permanent collection, with five additional galleries for changing exhibitions.

This is the controversial fifth-century B.C. statue usually identified as Aphrodite that the Getty is returning/has returned to Italy. There are other pieces involved in the controversy – the New Yorker did a nice article on the whole story in November 2007 which I think spoke rather well of the currently under siege Getty antiquities curator Marion True.

…and nasty, brutish, and…

…and nasty, brutish, and short.

With objects dating from 6,500 B.C. to A.D. 400, the collection contains monumental sculptures as well as artifacts of everyday life such as vases, coins, sculpture, and jewelry. Some of the objects, including a mummy, have never been on view.

Whoo, look at these…

Whoo, look at these guys.

From the NY Times June 2006, more on the Give It Back It’s Mine story (btw she was found not guilty):
“Prosecutors at the conspiracy trial of a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles presented on Wednesday photographs of a pair of ancient marble griffins – one of the glories of the Getty’s collection – lying in a car trunk, encrusted with grime and loosely wrapped in newspaper.”

A strategically placed head…according…

A strategically placed head…according to the guide this statue, an Olympic athlete cast in bronze, is one of only twelve left of what was once thousands of bronze athletes who graced the plazas of ancient Greek cities and towns.

This is another one of the pieces in dispute. You’ll want to go experience this work while you can!

The guide spoke expansively…

The guide spoke expansively on these pieces – The Poet Orpheus and the Two Sirens. I’ve hopped on to many tours now and each has been informative and entertaining.

They also have for 3 bucks a 30 hour self guided audio tour. You can keep it all day and just wander around. If I ever go by myself I’ll give it a try.

Handsome fellow isn’t he,…

Handsome fellow isn’t he, and said it was J Paul Getty’s favorite piece.

It’s called The Lansdowne Herakles because Lord Lansdowne, Getty’s ideal of what an art collector should be, once owned this statue and displayed him in his house in London.

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