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!

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