Getty Villa and Museum

Trip Start Dec 12, 2007
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Trip End Dec 28, 2007


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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, December 23, 2007

One afternoon, we went, with a friend from the Dove Grey list and her sister, to the Getty Villa. J. Paul Getty’s antiquities collection is housed in the vast Romanesque villa and museum he built near his home (one of them, I assume) in Malibu. It is (per Wikipedia), “modeled after the partially excavated Villa dei Papiri in Italy and … has been built up from bottom to top, covering the steep hillside with strata of wood-grained concrete and stone in a high-concept version of an archaeological dig.”

We had delicious Mediterranean fish stew (well, I had a delicious glass of red wine as well <g>) and wandered about two marvelous exhibits: “Reflecting Antiquities” http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/reflecting_antiquity/ and “The Magnificent Piranisi” http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/magnificent_piranesi/

The former is Modern Glass inspired by ancient Rome “ The rediscovery of Roman glass during excavations in the late 1700s and early 1800s inspired glassmakers across Europe to create works of art that captured the beauty and shapes of ancient glassware. This exhibition explores the influence of ancient glass objects on modern glassmakers, who sought not only to replicate their forms and patterns, but also to replicate the techniques used to make them.“

The latter displayed the works of the “architect, archaeologist, polemicist, and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720–1778), who was a lifelong champion of Rome. He published more than a thousand etchings depicting the 18th-century city and ancient Roman monuments. Piranesi's images were often so magnificent that tourists who had seen them before they visited Rome were sometimes left disappointed by the actual city.

My favorite was a nearly nine foot high etching of the column of Trajan. Piranesi used six copper plates to produce this spectacular display; which is one of Rome's most recognizable monuments. The print shows the shaft's spiral narrative frieze, which depicts Roman emperor Trajan's battles against the Dacians of southeastern Europe. Piranesi's magnificent vision of the monument includes the original bronze statue of Trajan, which had been replaced with a figure of Saint Peter in 1587.

Our last evening was a magnificent Chinese meal at the VIP Chinese Restaurant, which I though was just great. My friends, who know the menu well, ordered most of the meal and I threw in a compatible suggestion. My word did we have a lot of food! Enough to take home to her husband, who’d been suffering with a sore throat. For my last evening there, as everyone in the family is working madly on projects (poetry, books, scripts and all), I moved to a very pleasant local motel called the Sea Shore Motel http://www.seashoremotel.com/ which has the advantage of being RIGHT next to Amelia’s and was within my price range. While I was right next to the street, I can say that when the noise closed down, I got a wonderful sleep.

Bless you, my friend, for welcoming me into your home for a bit and thank you all for a just lovely visit.
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