Getty Museum – Virtual Tour
The J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly called the Getty Museum, is an art museum housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa.
The Getty Center is in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, and the collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present.
The museum’s second location is the Getty Villa, which is located in the Pacific Palisades or Malibu neighborhood and exhibits art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
In 1974, J. Paul Getty opened a museum in Malibu, California, by 1982, the museum became the richest in the world when it inherited US$1.2 billion.
In 1997, the museum moved to its current location in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles; the Malibu museum renamed the “Getty Villa,” which was renovated and reopened in 2006.
A Virtual Tour of the Getty Museum
- “The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola” by Canaletto
- “Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino” by J.M.W. Turner
- “Irises” by Vincent van Gogh
- “After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Back” by Edgar Degas
- “Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning” by Claude Monet
- Portrait of a Halberdier by Pontormo
- Spring by Édouard Manet
- Greek Kouros (Getty Museum)
- Spring by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
- “Portrait of a Man” by Paolo Veronese
- Euclid by Jusepe de Ribera
- “Venus and Adonis” by Titian
- “Portrait of Marquise de Miramon” by James Tissot
- “The Rue Mosnier Dressed with Flags” by Édouard Manet
Getty Center Orientation Film
Highlights of the Getty Museum
“The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola” by Canaletto was painted in 1738.
This composition is called a veduta (Italian for “view”), meaning a highly detailed, usually large-scale painting of a cityscape or some other vista.
This vendute painting depicts the upper reaches of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, near the entrance to the Cannaregio Canal. Venduta paintings were popular with the wealthy tourists to Venice in the mid-1700s.
“Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino” by J.M.W. Turner is a landscape vision of the unexcavated Roman Forum, still called the Campo Vaccino meaning “Cow Pasture,” shimmering in the hazy light.
Ten years after his final journey to Rome, Turner envisioned Rome from his memory. Churches and ancient monuments in and around the Roman Forum are dissolving in bright colors.
The light from the moon is rising on the left. The sun is setting behind the Capitoline Hill at the right.
“Irises” is one of several paintings of ‘Irises’ by Vincent van Gogh and one of a series of paintings he painted at the asylum in Saint-Rémy, France, in the last year before his death.
In 1889 after several episodes of self-mutilation and hospitalization, Van Gogh chose to enter an asylum. There, in the last year before his death, he created over 120 paintings.
Shortly after entering the asylum, Van Gogh started Irises, working from nature in the asylum’s garden. He called painting “the lightning conductor for my illness” because he felt that he could keep himself from going insane by continuing to paint.
“After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Back” by Edgar Degas is a print of a female bather kneeling on a chair covered with towels as she arches her back over the backrest of the chair as if to pick something up with her right hand.
This print is part of a series of photographs, prints, drawings, preliminary sketches in pastels and oils by Degas from this period that depicts women during the bathing process.
Degas often used sketches and photography as a preliminary step to study the light and the composition for his paintings. This work is part of a series that depict women, as in this example, in awkward and unnatural positions.
Degas said he intended to create a feeling in the viewer “as if you looked through a keyhole.”
“Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning” by Claude Monet is part of a series of stacks of harvested wheat. The series consists of twenty-five canvas, which Monet began near the end of the summer of 1890, and though Monet also produced earlier paintings using this same stack subject.
The impressionist series is famous for how Monet repeated the same theme to show the different light and atmosphere at different times of day, across the seasons, and in many types of weather.
Monet’s Haystacks series is one of his earliest to rely on repetition of a subject to illustrate a subtle difference in color perception across variations of times of day, seasons, and weather.
“Portrait of a Halberdier” by Pontormo depicts a young man standing before a fortress wall, holding a halberd.
A halberd is a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th and 15th centuries, and troops that used the weapon were called halberdiers.
The identity of the person is not absolute; however, Florentine records noted that during the siege of Florence in 1528, the artist, Pontormo painted a portrait of a young nobleman called Francesco Guardi as a soldier.
Spring by Édouard Manet depicts the Parisian actress Jeanne DeMarsy in a floral dress with parasol and bonnet against a background of lush foliage and blue sky, as the embodiment of Spring.
She is portrayed poised and looking straight ahead, a picture of detachment even though she seems fully aware of our gaze.
This painting was the first of a planned quartet of allegorical works using chic Parisian women to depict the four seasons. The idea was to produce a series of seasons personified by contemporary ideals of women, fashion, and beauty.
The series was never finished, and Manet died a year after completing only the second of the series, Autumn.
This Greek Kouros at the Getty Museum is an over-life-sized marble statue of a beardless naked youth in an advancing posture.
The modern term kouros (plural kouroi) is given to free-standing ancient Greek sculptures that first appear in the Archaic period in Ancient Greece and represent nude male youths. In Ancient Greek kouros means “youth, boy, especially of noble rank.”
Such statues are found across the Greek-speaking world. Most of this type have been found in the sanctuaries of Apollo.
“Spring” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicts the festival of Cerealia in a classical Roman marble terraced street. In ancient Roman religion, the Cerealia was the major festival celebrated for the grain goddess Ceres.
It was held for seven days from mid to late April, and this painting shows the procession of women and children descending marble stairs carrying and wearing brightly colored flowers.
Cheering spectators fill all the vantage points of the classical Roman buildings.
Tadema’s curiosity about the ancient world of Greece and Rome was insatiable, and his knowledge is incorporated into this painting through architectural details, dress, sculpture, and ornaments that are based on Roman originals.
“Portrait of a Man” by Paolo Veronese portrays a man leaning on the base of a structure with columns. In a niche between the columns is a marble sculpture of a draped figure, of which only the lower portion is visible.
The identity of this man is a mystery; however, the clues in the painting may refer to the subject’s profession, perhaps that of a sculptor or architect.
Euclid by Jusepe de Ribera, depicts the “father of geometry,” emerging from the shadows behind a table. Presented as a solemn scholar displaying his well-worn book with various geometric figures and Pseudo-Greek characters.
De Ribera focused his all skills to the man’s facial details, from the unkempt beard to creases of his forehead and the folds of the lids above his dark eyes.
Depicted as a man with tattered clothes and blackened, grimy fingers to emphasize Euclid’s devotion to the intellectual, rather than material, pursuits.
“Venus and Adonis” by Titian depicts Venus trying to restrain her lover Adonis from going off to the hunt. His dogs strain at their leashes, echoing his impatience, as detailed in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
Cupid sleeps in the background, a symbol of Adonis’s resistance to Venus’s embrace. The story relates how one morning when Venus departs in her sky-borne chariot, Adonis’s hounds rouse a wild boar, which turns on him.
Venus hears Adonis’s groans, leaps from her chariot, and finds him dying. From her lover’s blood, she creates a fragile flower whose petals are scattered in the wind, named anemone’ windflower’ in Greek.
“Portrait of Marquise de Miramon” by James Tissot depicts the Marquise wearing a rose-colored, ruffled peignoir. Around her neck are a black lace scarf and a silver cross.
Behind her is a fashionable Japanese screen depicting cranes on a gold background, and on the mantelpiece are several Japanese ceramics.
The Louis XVI stool and the terracotta bust suggests her aristocratic status. This painting was exhibited at the Paris World Fair. Thérèse Feuillant (1836 – 1912) inherited a fortune from her father, and in 1860 she married Réné de Cassagne de Beaufort, Marquis de Miramon.
“The Rue Mosnier Dressed with Flags” by Édouard Manet depicts a Parisian street, decorated with French flags for the first national holiday, which occurred on 30 June 1878. It was called the “Fête de la Paix,” or in English, “Celebration of Peace.”
The Rue Mosnier, which is now called the Rue de Berne, could be seen from Manet’s studio at 4 Rue de Saint-Pétersbourg. This canvas shows the view from his second-floor window, with tricolor flags hanging from the buildings along the road.
Manet captured the holiday afternoon in the top half of the composition with a patriotic harmony of the reds, whites, and blues of the French flag that waved along the street.
In the bottom half of the composition is a one-legged man on crutches, possibly a veteran wounded in the Franco-Prussian War. Also, at the bottom is a man carrying a ladder, and on the left is a fence holding back the rubble from building works.
The urban street was a subject of interest for Impressionist and Modernist painters. Manet reflected the transformation and growth of the Industrial Age and how it impacted society.
- Museum: Getty Museum
- City: Los Angeles
- Country: United States
- Established: 1974
- Type: Art Museum
- 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California
- 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California
J. Paul Getty
Jean-Paul Getty (1892 – 1976) was an American born petrol-industrialist. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 was named the richest living American.
At his death, he was worth more than about $21 billion in today’s values. Despite his vast wealth, Getty was famously frugal, but also an avid collector of art and antiquities.
His collection formed the basis of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, and more than $661 million of his estate was left to the museum after his death. He established the J. Paul Getty Trust in 1953.
The Getty Trust is the world’s wealthiest art institution. It operates the J. Paul Getty Museum Complexes: The Getty Center, The Getty Villa, and the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute.
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- American Proverbs and Quotes
Map for the Getty Museum
Visiting the Getty Villa & Getty Center in One Day
Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
“Money is like manure. You have to spread it around, or it smells.”
– J. Paul Getty
Photo Credit: By Jelson25 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons