The Getty is the best place to go on a date or impress a guest. Always a great and pleasant destination, it’s so unlike any other museum and when I’m there, I don’t feel like I’m in L.A. at all.
From the shuttle that takes visitors from the parking structure to the top of the hill (where this impressive white stone architectural wonder sits) to the massive and spectacular art collections that include paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photos, the Getty offers a different kind of experience that I would define almost European.
Among the pre-20th-century European paintings, there are a few world famous pieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, and Renoir, to name a few. There are masterpieces by maestros such as Masaccio, Gentile da Fabriano, and Carpaccio. Among the Reinassance paintings on display, there’s one by one illustrious Bassanese who is considered by many to be the first modern landscape painter: Jacopo Bassano (1510-14 February 1592). Apparently, Jacopo and I not only share the same birthplace, but also some blood as my family has been bragging about it with pride for as long as I can remember. I often wondered, though … I know it’s been a long time and Jacopo’s artwork belongs to humanity, but how come we’re not in possession of any letter, drawing, or sketch? Oh well, I’m not the one who’s going to spoil my family’s source of pride. I have to admit, though, that I always take pleasure when I see Jacopo’s “Bearded Man” on display at the Getty’s 1500-1600 room. As the guide describes ‘This is a rare portrait from the artist’s middle years, this work departs from portrait conventions of the time in its depiction of the sitter’s melancholic mood and in the animated way he turns his head to one side, as if momentarily distracted. The man’s strong physical presence is emphasized by the shadow he casts against the wall behind him.” Indeed, I think it’s pretty modern and it strikes me how this man looks exactly like my uncle Raffaele! Ha!
The Getty hosts different exhibitions all year round and the current one is a retrospect on high fashion and celebrity photographer Herb Ritts’ works. I recognized many of the stunning photos — most of them are iconic images depicting pop culture of the ’90s. I’m intrigued by the way he utilized the human body as a whole powerful expression; my favorite pictures are the ones portraying athletes in unusual poses showing their muscular bodies. I couldn’t take pictures because cameras are not allowed, so you have no excuse; you have to go and see them yourselves 😉