The Getty Villa, Part 1. Or, Another Dream Come True.
The real reason I went to Los Angeles was not for The Getty Museum, but for the Getty Villa, which houses the collections from Ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The villa itself is a fairly accurate reconstruction of the Villa of Papyri, a partially excavated country house in Herculaneum, one the Roman towns buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD. Having studied Roman art, architecture, and culture in college, seeing the reconstructed villa was a dream come true, never mind the collection itself. Because of this I am going to post more pictures than you are probably interested in, but I really can’t narrow it down further.
The Getty Villa, while a faithful representation of the floorplan of the Villa of Papyri, obviously differs in that it uses the interior space to house the museum’s collections. The peristyles – or porticoes surrounding the gardens – are highly accurate however and are the dominating feature of the villa. Other architectural details and decorations that remain unexcavated and are thus unknown were recreated by using known elements from other villas in the immediate area. Most of the sculpture in the gardens at the Villa of Papyri however was found intact and replicated by commission for the Getty Villa.