Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Getty Villa
On my recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to visit the Getty Villa, the home built by J. Paul Getty to display his collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. The villa was modeled after Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house in Herculaneum that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Much of the original villa still remains buried so elements of this villa were drawn from other ancient Roman homes in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae.
Because there is so much to see at the villa, I'm going to concentrate this post on the Formal Gardens of the villa. The gardens are planted with vegetation from the Mediterranean region and in the center is a long fountain that you can see in the top photo. On either side are dramatic covered areas providing shade and beauty.
The garden is filled with statues and busts all along both sides of the center fountain. Many have their eyes painted like the one above.
The statues are placed at various intervals throughout the garden.
Looking out from the shaded area, one can see how the garden was designed to be enjoyed even on hot summer days.
On one side of the garden was a shaded arbor bursting with plump grapes. I'll post more about the Getty Villa in future posts because there is so much more to see and enjoy. If you are visiting the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend a stop here. The beauty of the gardens alone make the visit worthwhile and I haven't even touched on the artifacts inside yet.