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Bernini and Illuminated Manuscripts at the Getty

The Bernini show at the Getty Museum was due to finish in just over a week, so we decided to go see art on a hilltop.

The Getty Museum is a huge complex just off the 405 heading south from us.  You pay $10 for parking; that’s it, there’s no entrance fee.  There’s a tram that takes you from the parking area up to the museum proper.  You could walk, but its probably a 15 to 30 minute hike up hill, so be prepared if you wish to do this.

We started with a one room show of illuminated manuscript images called “Faces in Power and Piety: Medieval Portraiture.”  This show knocked my socks off – its somewhat unusual to see a number of manuscript pages displayed together, and this small collection had great range while centering upon the combination of power and religion in medieval Europe.

Jean Fouquet, “The Virgin and Child,” 1455

Then we walked over to “Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture,” which was pleasant but not especially thrilling.  I’m just not a big fan of Baroque art, but we wanted to see this show since he was Italian and we’ll be over in Italy next month.  This show might have been better if they hadn’t included two rooms of work by later artists – it didn’t measure up well.  But, I will say that the “Portrait of Constanza Bonarelli,” reproduced in detail below from the cover of the show brochure, was powerful (she was one of his mistresses and a deep love interest although married to an assistant).

The cover from the brochure for the Bernini exhibit
The museum is striking, with gorgeous views of Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Detail of the fountain inside the main entrance

One of the gardens on the grounds

A view of Santa Monica from an upper floor of the museum

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