Andrea Mantegna, The Adoration of the Magi, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
[#CaliforniaDreamBig] Why VisitMantua wants to Visit California...
When asked about their Californian dream, many people answer describing great venues on the seaside, the Walk of Fame, the exciting clubs in San Francisco, or the stunning Natural Parks.
And of course, they would love to pay a visit to the famous locations of the many TV series which have "Charmed" [this is an intentional reference] entire generations of fans: from the soap-opera "Santa Barbara" to "The Bold and the Beautiful", from "Bewitched" to "Baywatch", from "Beverly Hills 90210" to "The O.C.", from "Private Practice" to "The Big Bang Theory", just to name a few.
Not many people, however, will describe art, museums and galleries as "good reasons" for dreaming of California.
Many Italian – and European – visitors are usually convinced that there is not much art to be found on the other side of the ocean. But this is not true.
As an art historian, I have been spending years wandering through many countries, visiting art galleries and museums, and I can assure you that art and culture also have their American homes.
I had such wonderful experiences in the great museums of the East Coast, and since then I have been dreaming of going west: the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and Malibu, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon and the Norton Simon Museum of Pasadena are on my wish list, from the days of yore.
I am mostly interested in two paintings, strongly connected with my research: a Noble Lady by Giulio Campi in Hearst Castle, once thought to be a portrait of Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua, and an Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna in the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles.
Both these paintings, now in California, are from Mantua, the town where I was born, where I live and where I have been showing around visitors (mostly Americans) for the past ten years.
So, this is my #CalifoniaDreamBig: an art trip to California, offering me the chance of meeting so many masterpieces face to face (and heart to heart).
Giulio Campi, Portrait of an Italian Noblewoman (maybe Isabella d’Este), Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
Indian Art, Shiva in the Fierce Form of Bhairava, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California
Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Henrietta Maria of France, Queen Consort of England, Scotland and Ireland, The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego California
Burmese Art, Gilded Buddha from Sagaing, The Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, California
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, A Young Girl Defending Herself against Cupid, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Greek Art, Kouros, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California
Raphael, Madonna and Child with a Book, The Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena, California
Music: California Dreamin’, performed by Scala & Kolacny Brothers