Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Getty

I visited The Getty this week. I attended alone, which was a very unique experience for me. I'm not usually the type of person who likes to do things alone, but I really enjoyed walking around the art museum for six hours, alone. I went through everything once, but I didn't want to leave, so I went through everything again. In between "sessions," I grabbed a sandwich and ate it on the grass. The weather was perfect; I thought I died and went to heaven: the area, grounds and view were breathtaking.

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.)


Fernand Khnopff

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!

"The Cardinal." 

"My Legs." 

(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. 


  1. Thanks for the picture tour of the Getty. I really need to get up there sometime. You've inspired me.

  2. Love it. Thanks forever to Mrs. Hughes.

  3. Kenne leider niemand in The Getty, aber drücke dir alle Daumen.:)

  4. I take much pleasure and satisfaction in having a few "contraband" photographs myself... one of my mottos as a photographer/filmmaker is "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission"! muahaha.

  5. Today I have started to paint a still life for my "briefcase", and I must say you: it is really hard to paint something recognizable...
    What I actually want to say is: it is really impressively if you feel some atmosphere in a picture of a painter, and get an emotional impression of the painted situation.
    Has always supposed you have a passion for art and art history.
    You know a lot really well about art. Today, for example, I have learnt, there was still a Manet beside Monet...

  6. What an awesome experience! I loved all your pictures and thoughts, so great. And the Rembrandt hand - my first thought was "I could totally put an IV in that hand". This online art tour was quite reminiscent of the wonderful Mrs. Hughes art history class - nicely done.

  7. I know on you're bucket "list" you indicate a new camera purchase. They have the Canon Rebel T1i at Fry's Electronic on sale for $499. That's a steal for a DSLR. Plus it comes with a lens and shoots 1080p video! Go ahead, get excited. Just think, on your next "contraband photo shoot" you can switch to video in full HD glory!


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