The Getty's Big Buy
auctioned in 2001. It joins a later drawing by the artist, purchased with great fanfare in 1993. That was described as the museum's first Michelangelo, and I didn't expect there to be a second.
The Getty just bought a Parmigianino painting, and here's another great late work by the artist. Head of a Young Man (1539-1540) is hauntingly symmetrical, save for the eyes turned heavenward and left.
Ironically the most expensive painting J. Paul Getty ever bought was an oil sketch of heads of an African man, then attributed to Rubens (no longer!) The new African Man Wearing a Turban is a bridge between the museum's Rubens drawings and its oil sketches on panel; not to mention a bridge between North and South, West and East. Another Rubens drawing in the Getty collection is notable as an early depiction of a Korean.
The one Dutch drawing in the set is Aelbert Cuyp's Panoramic View of Dordrecht and the River Maas, c. 1650, measuring about 6-1/4 by 20 inches. It is loosely related to a Cuyp painting in the Getty collection, and more directly to a painting at LACMA. The latter is the left portion of a panoramic painting that was cut in two. The right part is in Leipzig. The drawing supplied the background for both.one of these prized sheets in 1984, and the new drawing is even more amusing. It finds Punchinello Riding a Camel at the Head of a Caravan (late 1790s).
The Surprise joins the Getty's large Italian Comedians, purchased in 2012. Whether the latter was by Watteau's hand was already a controversy in the 18th century. As far as I can tell, not much has been settled since then. The Surprise, then, gives the Getty an unquestioned Watteau to anchor its superlative collection of French 18th-century paintings, furniture, sculptures, and drawings.