Cultural Activity Report

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Assignment 3: Cultural Activity Report
Student: Danny Franco
Professor: Dr. Caren Stayer
HUM 111
December 12, 2014

For my cultural event, I visited the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California on Thursday, December 11, 2014. I had originally planned to visit the National Museum of Art and History in Washington D.C., but I found myself in Los Angeles due to the birth of my Grandson. I attended the museum by myself. The Getty Museum was originally started in 1954 in J. Paul Getty’s home in Pacific Palisades. After Getty’s death, the Getty Trust took over the museum. The collection eventually outgrew the site and the Getty Center was built in the Santa Monica Mountains above interstate 405.
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The hallway walls were constructed of glass, allowing me to take in the fantastic views. At that moment, I felt inspired and grateful that one extremely wealthy man had left such a glorious place for future generations to enjoy. Luckily for me I ended up in the North pavilion, where Italian art before 1700 is housed.
The first piece of art I focused on was the painting titled Allegory of Fortune by Dosso Dossi. Dosso painted it around 1530 in Italy. The painting depicts a man and a woman, the man is sitting with a robe over his lap and the woman is sitting with her breasts exposed and her body positioned such that you can’t see full frontal nudity. The woman represents fortune, and she is holding a cornucopia, representing the bounty she may bring. She is sitting on a bubble which denotes that her favors are fleeting. The man in the painting represents chance. He is looking longingly at fortune as he deposits lottery tickets into a golden urn. During the time of the painting, civic lotteries were becoming popular in Italy. It is believed that the painting’s probable patron was Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua. Isabella’s emblem included a bundle of lots, signifying her personal experience with varying fortunes. One interesting fact about this painting is that it was found and purchased for a modest sum at a flea market. The seven-foot painting was strapped to the top of a car and taken to Christie’s
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