Getty Villa by the sea was a heaven for lover of antiquities. Among many Egyptian giants and Greek gods, I found most memorable a group of sculpture of a seated man and the flanking sirens, creatures of part bird and part woman. The real focal points were those ladies, whose careful postures belied their nature, as if they were in break from their fatal performance, and their nature was just a goodie goodie matron, or some prim figures from Victorian era, though they were from ancient Greece, dating to 350 - 300 B.C. The seating figure was a very plain and passive figure, therefore, my attention was fully on those two standing sirens, who on two legs, and large claws, instead of feet, looked very upright, though became a bit comical, when viewed on profile, with their stiff little tail stuck out below their hips, resembling ill-fitting coats, as if they were campaigning politicians in tails, during one of their eloquent and disingenuous speeches. Perhaps, that was what being sirens meant.
A Seated Poet and Sirens, Greek (Tarantine), Tarentum (Taras), South Italy (Place created), 350 - 300 B.C.
My second favorite was an even more ancient sculpture, titled Harp Player, from Early Cycladic, around 2700-2300 B.C. What so remarkable about this lucid rendition was how wonderfully proportioned and abstracted the little sculpture was and how poetic his or her postures were. There were a few wonderful dialogues, such as the contrasts between smooth and rounded curves and straight and abrupt angles, and between elements of thin and delicate, and that of thick and sturdy. The most memorable aspect, perhaps due to the ravage of time, was the small and ill-shaped head and the player's face, which was like a piece of cloud, with barely discernible features, as if the player had disappeared into an aural world of his/her own creation.
Harp Player, Early Cycladic, 2700-2300 B.C.
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
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