The Getty Villa, Part 2: The Collection

So as I mentioned in the previous post, I had to break my visit to the Getty Villa into two blog posts because I could not whittle my photos down. This post features my favorite items from the collection housed within the spectacular Getty Villa.

The ancient art works of Greece, Rome, and Etruria displayed at the villa are among some of the finest in the United States and include some truly exceptional pieces. In addition, there were two outstanding exhibitions on view: The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia and Tiberius: Portrait of an Emperor. The former features the Cyrus Cylinder, a famous cuneiform-script description of the conquest of Babylon that is on loan from the British Museum. The latter features a very rare 8 foot bronze statue of the emperor recovered from Herculaneum, which was buried by the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph the works on display in the Tiberius exhibition due to copyright prohibitions, but the over-life size bronze Tiberius was incredibly impressive. My favorite works that I was able to photograph are below.

Venus Genetrix, Roman 2nd C. AD

Venus Genetrix, Roman 2nd C. AD

Marbury Hall Zeus, 1st C. AD Roman reproduction of a (Greek) Hellenistic statue

Marbury Hall Zeus, 1st C. AD Roman reproduction of a (Greek) Hellenistic statue

Mosaic of the Removal of Briseis, Roman 2nd C. AD

Mosaic of the Removal of Briseis, Roman 2nd C. AD

Grave Monument of Popillius and Calpurnia, Roman AD 1-20

Grave Monument of Popillius and Calpurnia, Roman AD 1-20

Mummy Portrait of a Woman, AD 75-100, Roman, Encaustic portrait on wood

Mummy Portrait of a Woman, AD 75-100, Roman, Encaustic portrait on wood

Bust of the Emperor Commodus, Roman AD 180-185, partial reworking in 18th C. England

Bust of the Emperor Commodus, Roman AD 180-185, partial reworking in 18th C. England

Wall Fragment with Woman on a Balcony, Roman 9BC – 14AD, fresco

Wall Fragment with Woman on a Balcony, Roman 9BC – 14AD, fresco

Bust of the Emperor Augustus, Roman BC 25-1

Bust of the Emperor Augustus, Roman BC 25-1

I very rarely go to a museum or a gallery and am able to definitively say that I had a favorite work, but in the case of the Getty Villa I did, hands down. The Bust of Livia Drusilla is a marble sculpture fragment depicting the idealized portrait of the wife of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. I studied the typology of her portraiture in depth my senior year of college so to have the opportunity to see this sculpture in person was incredible.

Bust of Livia Drusilla, Roman 1-25 AD

Bust of Livia Drusilla, Roman 1-25 AD