I had the pleasure of going through the Getty Museum on a recent trip to Los Angeles. What an eye opener it was, a decorative arts dream. I was thrilled to be exposed to such historical beauty… in such proximity. Every single thing in the museum is top quality and eye-catching. These are just a few of the photos I took. Rather than go into great detail on everything, I have chosen to elaborate on specific items.
1) Hate to state the obvious, but this is a Monet. Monet paintings are never done justice by the camera. The colors are so brilliant when one is looking at a painting in the flesh. The Getty art collection is unbelievable.
2) The Pair of Firedogs- so great!!! These are French, from Paris, and date to about 1775. They are attributed to Quentin-Claude Pitoin, made of gilt bronze. The decorative elements on these firedogs refer to the hunt, one of the most important pastimes of the nobility in the 1700s. A stag and a wild boar are seated on rocks resting on pedestals, which are decorated with the heads of hounds and a low relief of various animals. The firedogs are of a famous model, the first example of which was delivered to the royal palace of Fontainbleau for the Salon of Louis XV’s mistress Madame du Barry in 1772.
3) This is one of a pair of commodes, French, ca 1750. Each commode is stamped BRVB for Bernard van Risenburgh, made of oak and spruce veneered with bloodwood, amaranth and kind wood; gilt bronze mounts; marble tops. These two commodes are reputed to have been made for Augustus III of Poland (reigned 1735-1763), who was the father-in-law of Louis, the son of Louis XV. The commodes once stood in the castle of Moritzburg in Dresden.
As for the rest of it, it is clear that Getty loved great desks at least as much as I do. This is only a sampling. He had such a sense of value, proportion, and decorative arts history – his collection is truly amazing. It was an honor and a privilege to get to experience it. If you ever plan to be in Los Angeles, especially if you are a designer, I highly recommend taking the time to experience the treasures that Getty amassed. The range of styles and timeline is enormous. What I have shared is just a small sampling from only one building. If you have been, please share what your favorite items or areas of his collection are.