For this first part, we’ll take a Hearst Castle tour around the gardens, the Roman and Neptune pools, and look at the arts with The Enchanted Hill as a background.
William Hearst inherited a 40,000 acre of land from his father, George Hearst. He explored the rolling hills of San Simeon by riding his horse. He decided to build a little something. He hired Julia Morgan, the first woman architect licensed in California. He collaborated with her the design and architecture of the castle.
To me, the fact that the castle is perched atop the rolling hills of San Simeon made a lot of difference. The art placements are made more striking with the background of The Enchanted Hill, named by William Hearst himself.
I find the arts of Hearst Castle too much mixtures, and, well, indecorous. One second I’m looking at a bunch of angelic figures, the next second I see Romans, and then some sort of dog-looking creatures. I looked at one side I saw a Roman male person, and then I looked at opposite side, a devilish looking man with horns. The front of Hearst Castle, I’m reminded of La Giralda of Seville, Spain. You go down a mini-stair leading to one side of the garden and you might see Egyptian sculptures. There’s no distinct pattern, no concrete symmetry, and the arts, mismatching.
As it turns out, William Hearst, with all the inheritance he had, bought just about whatever that pleased him. It was after the war. Europe was economically decline. The market for auctioned arts was a loot. The construction was on going. He wanted to fill it with arts. He had the means to buy, and so, he just plundered away. He didn’t even show up to auctions. He hired other people to go to New York to do the bidding for him. That way, the bidding doesn’t get too high. He gets better deals, and more arts to purchase. It didn’t matter what he buys, but just as long as he appreciated it.
There are two pools: the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool. There is currently no water in the Neptune pool because of leak problems.
The Roman Pool is indoor, and is to the other side. The Roman Pool is one of my favorite parts of the castle.
As an expectator, I can’t help but be critical about it. It was hard for me to digest. The mass expanse of the whole area didn’t help either. There’s just too much assortments for me. And I just think that that loses character. William Hearst just wanted to build this little something that turned into something grand. He set out a plan and executed with his own vision. He didn’t turn to art experts for any approval. He ignored the critics. That fact, I do admire. William Hearst wanted this castle he used as a retreat to turn into a museum. He wanted other people to see and appreciate European arts without going to Europe. If you do get the opportunity to see The Hearst Castle, I recommend to appreciate its arts … individually. 😉
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