Getty Buys a Medardo Rosso, Moves an Ensor

Medardo Rosso, Birichino, 1887-88
The Getty Museum has acquired a Medardo Rosso sculpture, Birichino (1887-88). One of several bronze casts of the subject, this one is distinguished by its purposely fragmentary base in breccia stone.

Turin-born Rosso moved to Paris in 1889, becoming friends with Rodin. Nearly a generation younger, Rosso pioneered rough, abstract, and fragmentary forms. Rodin conceded Rosso's influence, though the two sculptors fell out after Rosso felt Rodin hadn't given him enough credit in a newspaper interview. Rosso's reputation faded until a 1963 Museum of Modern Art retrospective.

Birichino (Italian for "Little Rascal") is being shown in a reinstalled sculpture room (W103) alongside works by Rodin and his circle, including Camille Claudel. Newly on view are works Rodin created while working in the studio of Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, including two examples of the Saigon Vase.
Installation view of room W103
Speaking of vases, the room is the one that formerly held the 9-foot-high bronze Vase by Jean-Désiré Ringel d'Illzach (off-view). The  tall, skylighted gallery now holds a single painting: James Ensor's The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889. It's an unusual juxtaposition, though the Ensor and the sculptures share an interest in the modern city and provocatively modern takes on religious subjects.

On the second floor, the Ensor's former gallery (W205) has also been reinstalled. Giovanni Segantini's Spring in the Alps now anchors a room of mostly non-French works, including Munch's Starry Night and Hammershøi's Interior with an Easel.
Room W205


Zack said…
I always thought a good place for the giant d'Illzach vase would be the entrance foyer. Just seemed too big for that little gallery it was in.
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Anonymous said…
Not sure why artworks like the d'Illzach Vase are put away in storage when there's plenty of space in a museum for display.

Reminds me the second floor of the Broad in the gallery facing the landing of the elevator. The large wall to the right of a person entering the top floor has held nothing but one comparatively small painting for quite awhile. Originally that wall was the one opposite to the huge Murakami. That wall could easily hold at least two works. It instead has come off as unbalanced, as though the Broad doesn't have enough works to fill it.

Does such proportional awkwardness, much less using space so extravagantly -- even more so when a museum has lots of artworks in storage -- not occur to people running a museum?