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.
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.
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Isn’t it just amazing to see pieces from this time period?! I feel so connected to history when I see them. I have had the joy of seeing Greek ruins in museums in Athens. Thank you so much for sharing these photos!!
It is truly amazing to see things created so long ago, Liz. Athens must have been spectacular. You’ll have to tell me your favorite parts for when I get the someday!
Absolutely great shots! The mosaic is my favorite! Out of curiosity are you especially drawn to this style/these periods of art?
I love mosaics too, Paige! I studied Roman Imperial Art in college and more broadly, Classical Mediterranean cultures so yes, this type of art is my favorite. My interest however stems from the cultural context of the art, not really the aesthetics.