A little known fact about me is that I love art and art history. I dabble in the arts myself, but I mostly love looking at art. I saw some gorgeous art yesterday, and luckily, I got to document most of it. (I have a few contraband photographs - the guards came and yelled at me after taking them. At least I wasn't using my flash, and how was I supposed to know I wasn't allowed to take pictures?)
The following are a few of my favorite pieces from The Getty yesterday. (I loved The Getty so much, I went home and applied for a job there. If any of you know someone at The Getty, put in a good word for me. Ya?)
I love "still-lifes." A lot of times they are called a "memento mori." This is a Latin phrase that reminds the viewer that at some point, they will die. A lot of times you will see flowers, fruit or skulls in these types of paintings - flowers die, fruit rots, and animals die. So will we. Kind of morbid, but interesting to think about. (No, I'm not punk/ gothic or suicidal.)
Gorgeous floral still-life. (Please note that these pictures of the paintings just don't do the actual paintings justice... not even close.)
A hand painted by Rembrandt - absolutely flawlessly detailed.
Don't ever forget to look up in an art museum... you never know what you might miss. (Perfect example.)
I spy with my little eye, the Los Angeles Temple! Can you find it? (Kind of on the top right side. By the way, the LA Temple isn't actually in downtown Los Angeles, it is in Santa Monica.)
One of my favorite artists... Degas. I had no idea I was going to get to see this piece (pastels), or some of his other pieces, at The Getty. I got really giddy then almost teared up when I walked into this gallery section. I love art, have I mentioned that?
Another Degas. So beautiful. Ballerinas were his specialty.
This one, by Jean-Etienne Liotard, was probably one of my favorite pieces. She is stunning.
Pastel on velum.
Gorgeous little Cupid. (Ha ha ha, I got a good chuckle out of this painting. What you can't see is a girl (whose hand you see) pushing Cupid away so he doesn't stab her with one of his arrows. Dang Cupid.)
Renoir... this was another surprise. I walked into the post-impressionism room and found the following:
van Gogh - Irises
Manet... no, not Monet. I absolutely love Manet. (Probably more than Monet.)
Another Monet... it is my goal to make it to his gardens someday.
A section of The Getty Gardens
Ahhh. I could go back tomorrow.
Another beautiful painting... Mary Magdalene. Not sure if you can really see it, but she has the most beautiful tears running down her cheeks.
Upstairs. They had chairs all over the place - it was awesome. I loved that I didn't have to buy anything in order to sit there - they were just there to enjoy. Happy!
(I apologize if nudity in art offends you...) This painting is so interesting. Here is a little explanation: the woman in this work (right) represents Fortune. She holds a horn of plenty, flaunting everything she could bring, but sits on a bubble because her favors are totally fleeting. The man, Chance (left), looks longingly toward Fortune as he deposits lottery tickets in an urn - a reference to the civic lotteries in Italy. Interesting, huh? See, that is what you get with art history.
Another neat painting with a story: in Homer's Odyssey, Penelope spends many years waiting for the return of her husband, Odysseus, from the Trojan War. She is faithful, but she has so many suitors who claim that her husband has been shipwrecked. She promises to marry one of them after she completes a tapestry for her father-in-law. This painting, done by Joseph Wright of Derby, shows Penelope at night unraveling the day's work from her tapestry, a strategy that enables her to remain loyal to her husband. Beautiful? Yes.