The Getty Villa (not to be confused with the Getty Center), is a beautiful museum dedicated to Greek and Roman mythology, art, sculpture, and antiquities. The topic of mythology is one that fascinates me, therefore it deserves a blog post! If you haven’t visited the Getty Villa, I suggest you do. If only for the amazing architecture and gardens.
The Villa is located in Malibu and provides some great views of the ocean from the grounds. The whole place was designed as a replica of a real Roman villa, the Villa dei Papiri, giving it that vibe of authenticity. Much of the Villa dei Papiri was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. It truly is a step back in time to the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria (central Italy).
There are many beautiful sections of the Villa. Upon entering, you are thrust into a theater-type pavilion that looks over the entrance to the Villa house. The first room when you enter is the atrium, which served as the main public room of the Roman house. The atrium would have been where rainwater could collect (seeing as there was no ceiling) and channeled underground, in ancient Roman times. As part of the museum, it serves as the starting point to the various exhibitions.
The Inner Peristyle is the central part of the Roman home. It would have been where noble people would entertain their guests. Featured in this section are various busts and statues of muses, women, and men, all typical of their respective culture. The Peristyle is complete with lush plants and a small pool in the center.
Once you walk through the Inner Peristyle, you’ll reach the Outer Peristyle, which is arguably the most prominent and recognizable aspect of the museum. It features a large pool and many Mediterranean plants and herbs that would have grown in the era of the Romans. These gardens are meant to symbolize and represent the formal areas of peace and contemplation of ancient times. It was pretty crowded on a weekend, but when the gardens are close to empty, it really makes you feel as though you’ve gone back in time. The design of the place definitely emphasizes that feeling.
The galleries within the museum include themes such as Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and the Theater (yes!), Stories of the Trojan War, and many more. The amount of history packed into this place is amazing, and worth visiting multiple times, especially if mythology interests you.
My story has to do with how mythology, as we know it today, was the religion of ancient Greece. Citizens prayed to these gods and goddesses. What might they have prayed for?
Photos are below. What are some of your favorite gods and goddesses?