Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Getty

The Getty

Steven picked me up yesterday before noon and we drove into Beverly Hills to go to the Getty Museum. The traffic in was pretty bad, but never at a complete standstill.

We parked and rode the tram up to the top of the hill. It was fast enough, but then took 2 minutes to travel the last 6 inches of the trip. Very weird. The Getty is huge. First we had lunch in a little cafe. Great food. I had half of a turkey club with avacado and a bowl of clam chowder. And coffee. We both needed to wake up after being out late the night before.

The first building was the antiquities. There was a gorgeous Venus statue in marble. There was a gold laurel wreath from something like 300BC. It looked like it ought to be fake. And one statue of a saint made by a she for a change. The next room over had books from the 1200-1400. Hand written, gold leaf embossed, hand decorated with leaves, vines, calligraphy and illustrations. The second building had more paintings and statues - all breathtaking. I think my favorite from that one was a statue in black of Venus and Adonis. Another building had French furniture from around Louis XIV. It was so huge I didn't even look at individual pieces, just walked into the room and stared. And I found the bed that if I lived in the Getty a la The Mixed up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler, I would have slept in. The fourth building had a photography museum and upstairs were oil paintings. There was one by Millais, and two paintings by an artist I don't know, but I bought the postcards so that I can remember them and buy the print online. And one huge painting entitled Spring that had a thronging crowd pouring out of a castle in greek dress festooned in flowers. The paint was so thick it looked like it was standing out from the canvas. And Steven walked into a room of impressionists and the original of his favorite Van Gogh was there.

We went back for coats to go into the gardens. On the way we saw that the 405 was completely stopped, so we opted to stay at the museum and see the last building and a half we'd missed. By then my brain was on overload and I had nothing left but pithy comments (Wow. Unfortunate haircut on that guy). There was a German Newspaper satirist who had to flee the country for his criticism of Hitler. I'm sure it was cool but all I could do was stare. And the upstairs of the first building had massive amounts of Italian Iconography. Teri you would have loved it. There was a Titian there of the Penitant Magdalene which was beautiful. My brain couldn't do it justice.

The funniest painting we saw all day was a picture of the Holy Family. Mary was looking placid with her left breast exposed. The infant Jesus was standing beside her, with his arm casually thrown over her breast. It was so bizarre.

After the museum we went to dinner at Cucina Italiana on Sunset Boulevard. The food was wonderful, and we got to sit on the patio which was closed in and had heaters. My ravioli was wonderful, and we had a glass of chianti.

We killed time for an hour driving around, deciding to go somewhere else, backtracking, getting lost on the 101, heading back, and then finally his friends Sarah and Tricia called and told us to meet them in West Covina at Starbucks. We went and I got to meet his friends. And then had them take the obligatory pictures for Mom. Which I have to forward to him as well for his mother.

At midnight he drove me back home. It was a 14 hour day, and I am so exhausted, but it was worth every second. What a perfect day...