Print Friendly Version
August 29, 2016

J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM ANNOUNCES INTENT TO ACQUIRE RENAISSANCE MASTERPIECE BY RENOWNED ITALIAN PAINTER PARMIGIANINO


DATE: August 29, 2016                                                                             
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    


 

MEDIA CONTACT                                                                   
Amy Hood
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6427                  
ahood@getty.edu
 
J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM ANNOUNCES INTENT TO ACQUIRE
RENAISSANCE MASTERPIECE BY RENOWNED ITALIAN PAINTER PARMIGIANINO
In private hands for over 400 years, the painting
is one of the finest surviving works by the leading Mannerist artist

 


Virgin with Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene
 (about 1530-40). Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola, Italian, 1503-1540). Oil on paper, laid down on panel, 75.5 x 59.7 cm (29 ½ x 23 ½ in.) Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
 
 
LOS ANGELES – The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today its intention to acquire Virgin with Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene (about 1530-40) by Parmigianino (Italian, 1503-1540), one of the most celebrated painters of the Italian Renaissance. Extremely well-preserved, the painting is a supreme example of the artist’s mature Mannerist style and represents sixteenth-century painting at its finest.

The painting is documented in the famed Barberini collection in Rome in the mid-seventeenth century and was recently on loan to the Getty Museum where it was shown alongside works by Pontormo and Bronzino. Before that, the painting was on long-term loan to the National Gallery in London.

 The acquisition is subject to an export license being granted by the Arts Council England. The export application is being filed by the seller’s representative, Sotheby’s, on the Getty’s behalf.

“This is a rare opportunity for us to enrich our collection with a masterpiece from one of the most accomplished Italian artists of the sixteenth century,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Paintings of this importance and in such superb condition very rarely become available on the market these days. It will make a spectacular addition to our galleries in the context of other great sixteenth-century paintings by Pontormo and other masters who transformed the classicizing naturalism of the Renaissance into visions of more mannered and theatrical elegance.”

Francesco Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino—a nickname derived from his native town of Parma—is one of the greatest Italian painters, draughtsman, and printmakers of the sixteenth century. During a career that lasted only two decades, he executed a wide range of work, from small panels for private devotion, to large-scale altarpieces and frescoes, to brilliantly executed portraits. Few painters had a greater influence on the art of their century, and his intellectual and elegant style spread far and wide, despite his very brief life.

The unconventional iconography of this painting typifies Parmigianino’s innovative work: the Christ Child turns from the Virgin Mary to embrace his young cousin, John the Baptist, whose hands are joined in prayer. Mary Magdalene holds the Christ Child under his arms while looking back at the Virgin. Intended for private devotion, the intimate religious subject exhibits Parmigianino’s characteristic polished and enamel-like paint surface and exquisitely rendered details; the lush landscape, elaborate hairstyles of the two women, interplay of hands, and still life with the jewels of Mary Magdalene enhance the transcendent beauty of the composition. Parmigianino executed the painting on paper laid down on panel, a unique feature in his surviving work, and one which reflects his accomplishment as a draughtsman.

“Pope Clement VII hailed Parmigianino as ‘Raphael reborn,’ and his style was extremely influential during the course of the sixteenth century,” says Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This painting, with its impeccable provenance and exceptional state of preservation, shows the artist at the peak of his maturity.”

The painting complements a number of the Getty’s existing Italian Renaissance paintings, including Head of Christ (about 1530) by Correggio (about 1489-1534), The Rest on the Flight into Egypt with St. John the Baptist (about 1509) by Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517) and works by Giulio Romano (before 1499 – 1546), Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547) and Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557).
 
# # #
 
 
The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.
 
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum's mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.
 
Visiting the Getty Center 
The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Mondays, and January 1, Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Summer hours through Sept. 4, 2016: Fridays and Saturdays open until 9 p.m., Sundays open until 7 p.m. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 3 p.m. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.
Same-day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for one fee through the Getty's Pay Once, Park Twice program. Visit the Museum Information Desk at the Center or the Villa to obtain a coupon good for same-day complimentary parking at the other site.

Additional information is available at www.getty.edu. 
Sign up for e-Getty at www.getty.edu/subscribe to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit www.getty.edu for a complete calendar of public programs.

 
< back


You must be logged in to view this item.





This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.