Going straight back to the old school | 16th May 2011 | 19:50 PDT

Today I thought "you know what I really fancy learning about? Yeah, I wanna educate myself with the muthaf-king Romans bitches!" so I cruised on down to Malibu in my big blue whip of a public bus to the Getty Villa. This place was super swell. much more life and depth than the Getty Center, this had loads going for it such as.

Does exactly what it says on the stone

The Getty Villa shows articles from 6000BC through to the 565AD.
It was designed to look like an excavation and is a replica of the largest Villa in Herculaneum (that had the same fate as Pompei) the Villa Dei Papiri. Renovated in 2007 (?) the interior styling borrowed other villas in the area, particularly from original house and Pompeii.

Wow, the REALLY feels like I'm in an excavation!

The entrance hall, Atrium, Had inside water area that acted like a water butt and collects rain water through the opening in the roof. There are small galleries off main room, this used to be heart of the house, but as villa grew it turned into a entrance gallery for the untouchables, the small galleries would've been actual galleries of the owners to show off their possessions. Now the galleries house; pots, silver, bronze implements, statues, and arts of work displaying a theatrical theme.

There's a hole in my roof of my Roman villa, dear Liza, dear Liza

A person's status would depends on how far you'd get into the house, most people only saw the entrance hall, as the house grew the heart of the home moved to the center courtyard gardens an idea borrowed by Greek times (but they would've been hardscape and no plants) this is where ceremonies and the like would take place, it also the axis of home, as the Romans loved symmetry and straight lines, you could look through each room in the house from this area. Styles in this area were taken from House of Coloured Columns in Pompeii, Fountains were from the original Villa, Ceiling from the Streets of the Tombs and Walls from the House of Faun

Here's looking at you, kid

 Off the courtyard are galleries featuring; Monsters and Minor Deities, A basilica (large public room, with a structure that was adopted by Christians for their churches. This room borrowed heavily from the Forum Baths, House of Cryptoporticus and Menander in Pompeii). A hall of coloured marble, with marbles from Italy, Greece, Egypt, Tunisia with Luxury silver vessels in the middle.

Of course, halogen light bulbs and electricity were readily available in 5AD

Found my marbles!

A temple of Herakles, son of Zeus. Rooms of mythological heroes and stories of the Trojan wars. There's an East garden too that was used as a refuge from the hot summer months, with trees for shade and fountains for shit and giggles...

Some old stuff, someone liked and/or found and kept it and/or repaired it

There's nothing better than 2 fountains!

 A triclinium. Dining room for three where people would recline and dine on delicacies enjoying marble from everywhere in the empire (but no Italian marble here)

Outer peristyle, the grand garden. Most were functional areas but this one was purely for enjoyment. Decorated with inspirational bronze. At the very end you were met with a sea view. A central pool run the length of the garden and would have been 4m deep and have fish. But not this one... This also lead to a statue of the Roman goddess of love, where you were allowed to touch and feel textures.

Sea eye-view of the garden

These are actually hand painted walls

In the upstairs areas a gallery of "Apollo from Pompeii! details of how they found, made and restored a statue of Apollo and Diana.

In search of biblical lands, a photographic exhibition about a group of visitors finding Jerusalem and travelling to Jordan. Documenting their journey long the way, back in 1839

Cypriot art, neolithic and bronze age arts, ancient glass making and different types

That's nice Johnny, but what f-k is it meant to be?

The Use of animals in ancient art, significance of wine (social, religion, economic) athletes and competition, coins gems and jewelry, men, women and children in ancient life.

Other things I learnt..
The second floor, originally had no windows or view as this was used for food storage and slaves and the wine disgusting, so they used spices, honey and water to make it more palatable

Cloud eye-view of the garden
The only thing that ruined the experience for me, was that it was recently renovated and the architects enlisted to transform the place, want to create an atmosphere that you're at an archaeological dig and you'd just "discovered" this villa sitting there, unfortunately it comes across as a oppressive concrete square mess (particularly the entrance area) and the rest of the grounds were passable.

I'll also assume they're the ones that turned the Villa (that was probably quite authentic looking in Getty's day) into a Floridian/Vegas style mall making it seem cheap and generally just... not great

I still loved the place though regardless of those points and it's such a relaxing lovely place to spend the day to forget everything but to really appreciate the Getty art centers you need to start at the villa to learn the foundations then head to the center. its hard to explain but its like watching Lord of the Rings 2 before the first one, you can appreciate it but you've no idea about why you should give a shit about it. I like the villa a whole heap.

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