Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Picture Perfect

It's quite challenging to get around the vast LA metropolis, so we decided to hire a car for the day in order to get our cultural fix. We drove to the Getty Museum, which houses the amazing artworks of J. Paul Getty, oil tycoon and erstwhile LA playboy. The Getty Centre was opened in 1997 to house his collection, which includes paintings by Van Gogh, Reuben, Titian and Monet.

We caught a tram up to the hilltop museum where we were astounded by the amazing architecture. The four buildings in the complex are a combination of sleek curves and dramatic travertine stone walls, with very modern water features between exhibition halls. We were thoroughly impressed with the extraordinary architecture.

There are also striking gardens around the complex, with zigzagging paths, wrought-iron bridges, and layers of garden features all blending seamlessly.

J. Paul Getty's artwork also includes a collection of Classical antiquities which are housed in the Getty Villa. This is a reconstruction of the Villa dei Papyrii, an ancient Roman villa on the slopes of Vesuvius. It took its inspirations from other Pompeian villas and features as well, even down to the cobbled-stone driveway. The kitchen garden only had plants and herbs grown in Roman times, and the attention to detail in the atrium, indoor and outdoor peristyles was a real treat!

We ended off a great day with a drive up the beautiful Malibu coast. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and we were on a proper holiday. What a luxury!

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