The Birth of Bacchus Picture

January 2013.

Last on our list of "places to go" on our trip was Los Angeles' Getty Center - an art museum on top of a hill in LA. For my photographic enjoyment, this was a two-task trip for me - one to take pictures of art when possible, with my 100mm macro lens, so as to focus in on particular details in paintings I liked, and also to take pictures at the outdoor grounds of the Getty Center, where the view of LA is great, as well as being a great vantage point to get sunset lighting.

Later in the year, when Grand Theft Auto 5 came out, I would be amused at all the similarities between particular areas in "Los Santos" vs Los Angeles. The Getty Center is basically faithfully recreated in GTAV, so it was interesting to engage in the typical GTA style rampage in a place I had been to and taken photos at before.

From the Getty Center website:

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) , painter; and Workshop of Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi)
Italian, about 1530s
Oil on panel

In a canvas filled with half-naked, twisting bodies, the story of Bacchus's birth unfolds in a typically wry Mannerist comment on the perils of passion. On discovering that the chief god Jupiter had impregnated the young mortal Semele, his wife Juno hatched a plan to end their love affair. Disguised as Semele's nurse, and knowing that Jupiter's lightning and thunder were lethal, she persuaded Semele to ask Jupiter to visit "in all his glory." Here, as Semele gives birth to Bacchus, who is caught by nymphs, as she herself is consumed by flames. From the top of the clouds, Juno looks apprehensively at her thunderbolt-carrying husband.

Giulio Romano and his workshop originally painted this scene as part of an erotic series of mythological love stories for Federico Gonzaga, duke of Mantua. Giulio probably did not execute the series by himself, though he probably designed them and painted selected parts.
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