The Goddess of Love Is Here – at the Getty Villa

With stunning ancient artwork, Aphrodite and the Gods of Love explores the goddess’ role as the protectress and her origins and relationships with men and gods, exposing a more manipulative and destructive side.

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Modeled after a first-century Roman country house – the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum – The J. Paul Getty Villa is Los Angeles’s pathway to ancient Greece and Rome. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the museum houses an extraordinary collection of antiquities dating from 6,500 BC – 400 AD and is surrounded by lush gardens filled with herbs and flowers used by the Romans.

The Getty Villa galleries are each designed by theme, and feature approximately 1,200 works of art including statues, luxury vessels and jewelry. Most striking are the monumental statues of gods and goddesses exquisitely placed throughout the entire museum, including our most beloved Aphrodite in an exhibition extending beyond her beauty and seductive nature.

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Aphrodite and the Gods of Love is on view March 28-July 9, 2012 and presents the more complex aspects of the goddess. The exhibit explores her role as the protectress, her origins and relationships with men and gods, exposing a more manipulative and destructive side.

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The exhibition begins with Aphrodite as we expect her – nude, beautiful and seductive. The romantically lit dark crimson galleries create an intimate atmosphere allowing the viewer to focus on the intricacy of each work of art. I found her relationship with Eros quite intriguing and, as a person who is not completely versed in Greek and Roman mythology, I am left wanting to learn more. From delicate storage jars to sculptures, the exhibition ends with a breathtaking, larger than life marble statue of Venus – Aphrodite’s Roman counterpart.

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Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in association with the Getty Villa, this is the first US exhibition devoted to the Goddess and includes a number of loans from Italy.

Aphrodite and the Gods of Love

The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

March 28-July 9, 2012

Rachel Matos is a museum professional and founder of the lifestyle blog The Art Muse. For more information you can visit her site or follow her on Twitter.

  • aphrodite | The Art Muse

    […] When I lived in NY, it was impossible for me to visit a museum and not feel the need to work there. I had a bit of an addiction. There was a point when I actually worked at four museums simultaneously – all contractually – hopping from one to another in one day as an educator. It’s easier to do when you live on the east coast. I didn’t have to drive. When I moved to LA, I struggled with the layout of the land. A lot. The driving and traffic really got to me after a while and I tried to think of ways to continue my passion and work for museums without the worry of 40 people waiting for me while I was parked on the 405. Hence, the blog. This whole Art Muse concept has opened so many new doors for me – including the opportunity to write for different publications and exercise my new love for photography. Of course, when I arrived at the Getty Villa’s Aphrodite reception, I wanted to stay and work there. Wouldn’t you? It’s one of the most magical museums I’ve been to. To see Aphrodite in all her glory turned a regular Tuesday night into an evening of nostalgia for me – I was reminded why I love museums so much. Perhaps this overwhelming feeling of happiness was the result of being in the presence of the love goddess herself. I don’t know. You tell me. If you live in Los Angeles, the show is now up for your viewing and offers new insight on her life, relationships and origin. If you’d like to know a bit more, check out my post for CBS Best of LA. […]

  • The Goddess of Love Is Here – at the Getty Villa | Property Cloud | PropertyCloud

    […] Read the full story and more.     […]

  • may gardens | The Art Muse

    […] over to the Getty Villa to check out that Aphrodite exhibit I’ve been talking about (here and here) and, while you’re there, stroll the grounds and celebrate National Public Gardens Day. I […]

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