More from the Getty Villa!

It’s one of my favorite places, so on my recent trip to California (my first since the start of Covid in 2020) of course I had to revisit the beautiful Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Here are a few random images of art that impressed me inside the building — something different, since I usually focus on the gardens and beautiful views.

An archer made of glazed brick from the reign of Darius I, 522-486 BC. He was one of many decorating the walls of the palace at Susa in Iran. Beautiful colors!
Persian Guard from Persepolis in Iran. 486-465 BC
Awesome and dramatic marble sculpture of Mithras standing on the back of a bull and sacrificing it with a dagger. This Roman sculpture dates from AD 150-200.
Great view of the Outer Peristyle Garden and pool from second floor balcony. It was HOT the day I was there, 95 degrees by noon, and I really wanted to sit in that pool for a while.

The Getty Villa is smaller and more serene than the big Getty Center museum in Los Angeles. Here’s a link to their website for info about visiting. If you’re in the area it’s worth a visit!

Street Art in LA’s Arts District

I’m back from a trip to Los Angeles, tired but without coronavirus I hope (crosses fingers for luck). While there I was lucky enough to go on a DTLA Walking Tour of some of the murals in the LA Arts District. Here are just a few samples I really enjoyed!

Actually, this one is from Santa Monica! It’s by Ruben Rojas and Cloe Hakakian.

By Ricky Watts, at The Container Yard

By Chris Shim at The Container Yard

By Wrdsmth at The Container Yard

By Solomon Souza at The Container Yard

My Favorites at LACMA

I love art museums. In the Los Angeles area, I’ve been to the Getty Center and the beautiful Getty Villa, the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library Art Collection, the Bergamot Station arts complex and more. This time I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). We only made it through a small section of the museum, but I found some personal favorites.

Of course everyone who visits takes pictures of “Urban Light” by Chris Burden. Here are some of the 202 street lights that make up the installation. They turn on at dusk, but they’re still wonderful during the day.


Here is a beautiful Archangel Raphael from 17th century Naples:

And some pop art by Idelle Weber, a fun piece called “Jump Rope”.

More pop art, a fun wooden sculpture by Joel Shapiro called “Dancing Man”. I also like “A Lawn Being Sprinkled” by David Hockney behind the dancing man.

My sister particularly liked this one. It’s called “Balloon Monkey (Orange)” by Jeff Koons, and it’s located outside the Ahmanson Building at LACMA. It sits in a reflecting pool, apparently at least partly to keep people from touching it. (I’ve linked an article below about the reflecting pool.)


Here’s a little more info about some of the pieces and artists above:

Everything You Didn’t Know about Urban Light, from the LA Times

Idelle Weber, “Jump Rope” from LACMA UnFramed

David Hockney (painter of “A Lawn Being Sprinkled”)

Koons Monkey Business at LACMA

The Monkey Gets a Moat

The LACMA Website

Illuminated Manuscripts

I was fortunate enough (thanks to my daughter) to visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles this week, during the exhibition of “Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts”. There was a room full of illuminated manuscripts, many of them the gorgeous, detailed capitals I was expecting, like this one:

Four Saints, from Lombardy (about 1450) --illuminated capital
Four Saints, from Lombardy (about 1450) –illuminated capital

Then there was the unexpected! For example this guy, who was having the worst possible day:

"The Mother of Allegranzia Appealing to Saints Aimo and Vermondo to Save Her Child" -- 1400s, the Getty Center
“The Mother of Allegranzia Appealing to Saints Aimo and Vermondo to Save Her Child” — 1400s, the Getty Center

Saints Aimo and Vermondo were local saints — aristocrats who escaped a wild boar attack while hunting, and then dedicated a church in Meda, Lombardy. People prayed to them for miracles and healing.

Then a book by a fencing master and author of an early Italian martial arts manual, Flower of Battle. These pages show combat techniques for horsemen.

Detail from "Examples of Equestrian Combat", Fiore Furlan de Liberi, 1400s, Getty Center
Detail from “Examples of Equestrian Combat”, Fiore Furlan de Liberi, 1400s, Getty Center

I particularly liked the combat manual. It reminded me of a book I used for research when writing sword fighting scenes. Renaissance Swordsmanship: The Illustrated Book Of Rapiers And Cut And Thrust Swords And Their Use, by John Clements, was a useful source because it had detailed illustrations — much like the ones in the Renaissance manual above.

It’s a wonderful exhibit to visit if you’re in the area. Here’s a press release with details: The exhibit continues until June 21 and includes an awesome online exhibit showing the works and brief descriptions, here.

*Note: Non-flash photography in this gallery was permitted. Also, digital images of these works are available under the Getty’s Open Content Program.