Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getty Villa: a glimpse of downstairs

 The Getty Villa is not well known even by LA locals, we found out. We chatted with a few people about our plans for the weekend and mentioned we were going to the Getty Villa - they gave us a puzzled look. "You mean the Getty Museum?". No, we don't.
 The Getty Villa is a recreation of a Roman villa that was covered by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. The original Roman villa, called Villa dei Papiri, is located on the edge of Herculaneum located just south of Naples on the Mediterranean Sea. We didn't get to tour it while we were in Herculaneum as it was closed. Upon entering the Getty Villa, one can see how close it is to the Pacific Ocean (top photo) which makes for a very pleasant drive to get there. The second photo is just outside the museum building which can be seen on the right edge of the photo.
 Entering the building, one encounters a courtyard identical to what was very common in that era.
 It even included the open roof that allowed for the collection of water.
 Now on to some of the exhibits on the first floor...

 In the center of the museum was this courtyard. We recommend seeing the Getty Villa early in the day (you must buy tickets in advance) as it is quiet and not very busy. We arrived at 10 AM and left about 1:30, and it was quite busy by 1.
 Here's Nikki coming up with a game plan for seeing everything. Don't worry, we are not going to show you very much at all of the museum. There are plenty - and I mean plenty - of excellent exhibits that we won't show you.

 A Greek marble statue from 150 BC called "Head of Athena".
 Greek mixing vessels made in Athens about 390 BC.
 A Roman marble statue called "Venus Genetrix" from 200 AD.

 This fellow, called "Youth as a Lamp Bearer", is a Roman statue made of copper, bronze and glass and was found in Pompei. It was probably made around 20 AD. Statues are on the walls to the left and right, and they are excellent. You'll have to discover those on your trip.
 This statue was found in the House of Ephebe, the residence of Publius Cornelius Tegete.
 Here is a closeup of the tag for this statue, including a photo of how it was found during excavation.
 Other objects nearby: a Greek bronze Griffen head from about 650 BC.
 A bronze winged feline made in Tartessos, Spain around 700-550 BC.

 I found the object in the lower right very interesting. It is an Orphic Prayer Sheet made of gold around 350 BC. Click on the photo and look at it up close.
 I've never been that interested in the Trojan War for some reason (or wars in general, for that matter), but with my first grandson being named Troy, my interest in the region around the city of Troy and the events of that era has increased.
 These Greek objects from about 500 BC contain scenes from the Trojan War. For some reason, scenes depicting the Trojan Horse are rare.
 Homer's story "The Odyssey" tells of the Greek hero Odysseus's 10 year trip from Troy back to Ithaca, his island home.
 A map where the path to Troy is well-worn by countless fingers tracing the dotted line.
 And that completes a tour showing just a few of the objects downstairs.
There is so much we didn't show you - intentionally. We want you to discover them on your own. Now let's go upstairs...

No comments: