My Material Life

The Getty Villa


We were back in LA again last weekend, this time to attend a nephew’s college graduation.  We had one day for sightseeing and this place was first on my list.  Have you been to either of the Getty museums?  There are two:  the Villa features antiquities from Greece, Rome and Etruria, while the Los Angeles Center features European and American works.  They are the best deal in town.  All you pay for is the parking – $15.  The inspiring architecture, art, and beautiful gardens are free (to visit, that is).

We finally made it to the Getty Center in Los Angeles a couple of years ago; that one is my favorite.  But the Villa holds nostalgic appeal for me because I remember visiting it with my parents in the eighties.  It is also the only way I know of to actually visit a grand Malibu estate.

J. Paul Getty’s idea for the Villa was to showcase his art in a replica of a Roman country house.  The Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum which was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.  The Villa dei Papiri was believed to be owned by Julius Caesar’s father-in-law (no relation to Cleopatra I’m sure).

The Romans were apparently a more is more kind of people when it came to decoration.  The photos in the gallery above are all of ceilings (with the exception of the Venus caught bathing).  I love that blue, gold and white combination.  Wouldn’t that be a great way to finish a piece of furniture – a white cabinet with blue drawers and gold trim and hardware?

The Mediterranean gardens are a sight to see, especially with the beautiful fountains and/or the blue Pacific.


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