by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
Pacific Palidades, CA (The Hollywood Times) 8/12/16 – “Roman Mosaics Across the Empire” opened at the Getty Villa on March 30th, 2016. This splendid exhibit will remain on display through January 1st, 2018–so plan your visit NOW!
The mosaics in this exhibit date from the 2nd through 6th centuries A.D. and come from far-flung regions such as Italy, Northern Africa, Southern France, Syria, and Turkey. They provide a glimpse into the richly embellished architecture of the ancient world.
In ancient times, mosaics decorated luxurious homes and public spaces across the Roman Empire. Small tesserae made of stone or glass were arranged into intricate patterns or figural scenes on floors and walls.
Mosaic techniques and designs introduced by itinerant craftsmen spread widely, leading to a variety of regional styles. Mosaics first appeared in the Greek world during the Hellenistic age, becoming ubiquitous around the Mediterranean and beyond under the Romans.
On a recent visit to the Getty Villa this reporter and her husband were especially struck by the Roman mosaic of a griffin resting one foot upon a wheel of fate. They met and married at Reed College whose mascot was the griffin and studied the classics there together.
The griffin is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. Beginning in Ancient Egypt the griffin was thought of as the king of all creatures because the lion and eagle were traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the king of the birds!
The bold and courageous griffin is always drawn to fierce and powerful monsters. It is used to denote military leadership with its combination of intelligence and strength. Rightly does the Getty griffin’s foot rest upon the wheel of fate for this creature creates its own destiny!
As a Hollywood tie-in, Merv Griffin Enterprises/Entertainment based in Beverly Hills used a griffin as its company symbol. Be sure to see this majestic griffin along with the other Getty mosaics during this Leo season at the sun-soaked Getty Villa located in Pacific Palisades at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway on the hill.
The Getty Villa is open to the public during its extended summer hours through August 27th, 2016 on Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. The Villa is closed on Tuesdays and will also be closed on Wednesday, August 31st and Wednesday, September 7th, 2016.
While admission to the Getty Villa is always free, paid parking reservations are required in advance at a cost of $15 per car ($10 after 3 p.m.) Groups of more than 15 people must make group reservations. There are separate Getty programs for K-12 students and college professors and students.
Free guided tours may be booked at least two weeks in advance on a first come, first served basis. Café dining is available on site and picnic boxes may also be purchased.
Who would want to miss out on all of THIS? For details, please call Visitor Services at 310-440-7300 or consult the Getty Villa’s online reservation form: