The Getty Center in Los Angeles, part 5 — The Paintings
Since I grew up in the small farming and ranching community of Kingsville, Texas, museums of famous paintings were a few billion miles away, leaving my only experience with them to be through school studies and my passion for philately.
I will admit that I really don’t have much appreciation for the master painters of old (Van Gogh, Rembrandt, etc.). When I go to an art museum, I’m on the lookout for those I recognize, usually because they are famous (The Scream, Mona Lisa, etc.) or I know them through United States postage stamps.
The most famous painting that I knew was owned by The Getty Center was Irisis by Vincent Van Gogh. Sadly, it was not on display during our visit. Personally, I think a painting of that magnitude should always be on display, just like The Blue Boy is always on display at the Huntington.
Although I think I took a picture of every painting that was displayed, I won’t bore you with all of them. Instead, following are my favorites:
Top of my list, simply because of the title: “Portrait of a Woman with a Book of Music,” by Italian painter Bacchiacca (Francesco Ubertini), ca. 1540. I don’t think I ever really thought about when “books of music” were first published. Of course, I had to come home and play the music on my piano……..lol
This next painting I liked because of the two guinea pigs in the bottom center of the picture. It is a combination work by two painters whose names I recognized: Peter Paul Reubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Reubens painted the figures and Breughel painted everything else.
“Return from War: Mars Disarmed by Venus,” ca. 1610:
This next one I like because it’s by El Greco (Doménikos Theotokópoulos). I’m not sure I ever realized exactly who El Greco was, so I learned something………Yeah! Yahoo! Yippee! & Congratulations! to me for learning something at the age of 57!
“Christ on the Cross,” ca. 1600:
If you have studied the world’s great religions as I have (and which is why I don’t belong to any of them), you’ll be familiar with this next painting. It is by Italian artist Sebastiano del Piombo and is featured in the Wikipedia article about Pope Clement VII. Pope Clement VII was Pope when England broke away from the Catholic Church and founded the Church of England.
“Portrait of Pope Clement VII,” ca. 1531:
This next painting is by French landscaper painter Claude Lorrain, with whom I was familiar.
“Coast View with the Abduction of Europa,” ca. 1645:
I think I liked the frame on the following picture more than anything else simply because it wasn’t big, ornate, and square like most of the others. I was also familiar with the Italian artist Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.
“Arcadian Shepherds,” ca. 1655:
I have been to Mardi Gras twenty times, 1974-1993, so I am quite familar with the Bacchus parade and everything that surrounds it, including bacchantes, or female followers of Bacchus, the god of wine.
“Bacchante with an Ape,” 1627, by Dutch painter Hendrick Ter Brugghen:
Rembrandt was represented, although I have never had an appreciation for any of his works. I find them too dark and foreboding. Following are two of them.
“A Portrait of a Rabbi,” ca. 1640, by Dutch painter Rembrandt:
“An Old Man in Military Costume,” ca. 1630, by Dutch painter Rembrandt:
I wonder at what point in time “military costume” became “military uniform.”
This next painting piqued my curiosity. It is of James Christie, the founder of the Christie Auction House, and was painted by his good friend, Thomas Gainsborough, the English painter who painted The Blue Boy previously mentioned. As an aside, if you get to Los Angeles, I would also recommend going to The Huntington in San Marino where The Blue Boy hangs. It is equally as stunning in its grounds and collections as The Getty Center.
“Portrait of James Christie,” 1778:
This next painting by Peter Paul Reubens intrigued me because the placard next to the painting said that it is a recently discovered painting. Unfortunately, I could find no other information about this specific painting.
“The Calydonian Boar Hunt,” ca. 1611:
Since I live in San Diego, home to about 225,000 military personnel, I’ve seen many a parade of boats. The following picture by Dutch painter Jan van de Cappelle is one of the earliest paintings of a boat parade.
“Shipping in a Calm at Flushing with a States General Yacht Firing a Salute,” 1649:
The following painting is actually the largest pastel in existence, and it’s in its original gilt frame.
“Gabriel Bernard de Rieux,” ca. 1740, by French artist Maurice-Quentin de la Tour:
This next painting was the largest one on display, life size. I could only get a picture of half of it and decided to go for the face. As I was taking the picture, a young boy tugged at his mom’s arm and said, “Mommy, she looks mean.”
“Portrait of the Marquessa de Santiago,” 1804, by Spanish artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes:
I end with my three favorite ladies:
“Portrait of the Marquise de Miramon, née Thérèse Feuillant,” 1866, by French artist James Tissot:
“Portrait of Thérèse, Countess Clary Aldringen,” 1896, by American artist John Singer Sargent:
“Portrait of Ann, Countess of Chesterfield,” ca. 1777, by English painter Thomas Gainsborough:
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