The Getty Villa

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Blog #4 Thematic

My visit to the Getty Villa Museum was like traveling back in time to Herculaneum, Italy and visiting a Roman home called Villa dei Papiri.  The Getty Villa Museum was designed to be an exact replica of the original home that once existed before Villa dei Papiri was destroyed by a volcano.  The highlight of this villa was the outer peristyle which is located in the back of the museum.

The marble flooring inside the museum leads visitors to the courtyard garden.  The garden is enclosed by a rectangular structure with rows of columns and elaborate marble flooring called a peristyle.  Inside the peristyle the walls are painted by a techniques called Fresco.  The Fresco paintings vary in subject matter. The ceilings are decorated with a grid pattern of three dimensional gold flowers and the gold flowers are framed by gold squares.  Traveling around the perimeter of the building there are several outlets that lead to the garden pathways.

The pathways that lead visitors through the garden take people in many different directions.  The design of the paths are so unique it is similar to a labyrinth.  Each pathway is encompassed by square cut shrubs.  Beyond the shrubs there are trees, ground cover, plants and bronze statues.  The bronze statues are replicas from the original Villa dei Papiri and are placed in the same area as they once were.

Lastly, is the rectangular pool that is 70 feet by 20 feet which is located in the center of the outer peristyle.  If one follows the path towards the trellis there is an opening to allow visitors to sit on the marble coping.  At each end of the pool is a bronze statue that sits above the water on top of stone.  Underneath the water lies bubblers that are strategically placed to emphasizes the movement of water and allows for a constant soothing sound of running water.

Visiting the Villa dei Papiri was an unexpected experience that I felt privileged to attend. This was an adventure back into time for visitors to enjoy an exact replica of an exquisite Roman home.

Blog #3 Chronological

When I visited the Getty Villa Museum in the Pacific Palisades I spent my time in the outer peristyle garden. Upon entering the outdoor garden the glistening pool first caught my eye.  As I walked toward the pool there was a pathway that led to a seating area on the marble coping of the pool.  The rectangular pool appeared to be 70 feet long by 20 feet wide and at the end of each side of the pool it was framed by a semi circle with a bronze statue protruding out of the water.  I was curious as to how the water was so blue and after a closer look I discovered that the bottom of the pool was painted blue.

Next I strolled down the pathway to observes the plant life surrounding the pool.  I noticed that the plants were enclosed by perfectly trimmed square shrub hedges that lead off into pathways of various directions such as horizontal, vertical, circular and zigzag.  The pool’s garden area contained planters that held a variety of plants, trees, and different ground covers.

After adventuring through the garden, there was an elaborate balcony at the far end which had a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The balcony was framed by rows of columns.  Each column had the same decorative design.  The top of the columns had a Corinthian Capital which was inspired by the plant Acanthus mollis.  The shaft of the columns were fluted and the bottoms had a doric base.  The floors of the balcony had several patterns that were made out of marble.  The outer peristyle of the Getty Villa was unlike any  museum garden experience that I had ever encountered.  Not only was I surrounded by many types of plant life but the atmosphere was very relaxing and I could spend hours in deep thought in this peaceful space.

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