Getty Adds 39 Dutch Drawings, Rembrandt to Mondrian

Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis of a Small Emperor Moth on a Damson Plum, 1679. Watercolor over counterproof. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The Getty Museum has purchased 39 Dutch drawings from an unidentified private collection. The artists span Rembrandt, van Ruisdael, Hendrik Avercamp, Gerrit van Honthorst, Maria Sibylla Merian, and even Piet Mondrian (an early landscape watercolor). According to the press release the acquisition was in the works for two years and was completed this January. 

This is the second group purchase of drawings by the Getty in the past four years. It augments a holding of Dutch drawings that is small by European standards (about 120 sheets—now ~160) but of world-class significance.  

Rembrandt, Young Man Leaning on a Stick, 1629. Pen and ink, 5-5/8 by 3-3/8 in
Rembrandt's Young Man Leaning on Stick (1629) was sold at Christie's in 2014 as part of the I.Q. van Regteren Altena collection. It's a life sketch that the young artist must have dashed off in minutes. It becomes (probably) the 11th Rembrandt drawing in the Getty collection. 
Samuel van Hoogstraten, The Crucifixion, about 1650. Pen and brown ink, gray wash, 9-5/8 by 9-7/8 in

Also added is a more resolved work by Samuel van Hoogstraten, The Crucifixion. Formerly assigned to Rembrandt himself, it sold for 319,000 Euros—more than the Young Man—at Artcurial, Paris, in 2018. Less than 10 inches square, it's a crash course in the Rembrandt school of history painting.

Long dismissed as a woman and an illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian has become one of the breakout stars of Dutch Baroque art. The Getty acquired its first Merian drawing in 2009, a gift from the astute collector and Disney imagineer Tania Norris. The astringent colors of the new purchase, Metamorphosis of a Small Emperor Moth on a Damson Plum, sparkle in the press image. It rivals Joris Hoefnagel's best and will strike rank-and-file Getty visitors as more modern than the Mondrian.

Ferdinand Bol, Reclining Female Nude Seen from Behind, about 1655-61. Black and white chalk

The 39 drawings include big and not-so-big names, with rarities and fashionable rediscoveries. A chalk nude by Ferdinand Bol does the male gaze thing a century before Boucher. 

Cornelis Dusart, Peasant Couple with a Drinker, 1689

Hendrick Dubbels, Ships at a Quai with a City in the Background, late 1660s. Pen and brown ink

All the drawings are 17th century, save for the Mondrian. Christie's sold it from a Dutch private collection in 2016 (for 152,500 Euros). The rectilinear parcels feint at where Mondrian was about to go. 

Piet Mondrian, Landscape Near Arnhem, 1900-1. Watercolor over graphite, 20-1/2 by 29-7/16 in


Anonymous said…
With all the money they have, I wish the Getty would focus on another curatorial area such as Latin American or Asian art. Most of the great European paintings are already in museum collections which is why the Getty is spending so much on drawings and a random painting every year. As museums finally address their Euro-centric diversity problems, why is the Getty still focusing on just European art?
Anonymous said…
> As museums finally address their Euro-centric
> diversity problems, why is the Getty still
> focusing on just European art?

Because that's the area which most interested the museum's founder and namesake. Just as the upcoming Lucas Museum will reflect the interests of its founder and namesake.

Beyond that, if politics have to be inserted into the cultural scene, what's being done to a generally, legally and technically outright publicly owned-operated museum - otherwise known as the LA County Museum of Art - deserves a lot more wringing of the hands.

The people behind that are peeing on the proletariat taxpayers of LA County.

"Let them eat cake," snickers Michael Govan, the trustees of LACMA and various public figures of LA city and county.
Anonymous said…
J. Paul Getty died before the museum was ever constructed and never collected photography or contemporary sculpture - both of which are presented at the Getty Center, so I'm not sure I see your point.
Anonymous said…
The random painting tends to be a masterpiece. There are plenty of institutions collecting every possible art type in LA, nothing is preventing anyone from contributing to that public legacy.
Anonymous said…
> so I'm not sure I see your point.

Did you write "Euro-centric diversity problems?" If so, who cares?

You might just as well complain that the Lucas Museum in Expo Park will have Figureative-centric diversity problems, that the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena has Asian-centric diversity problems, that the Autry Museum in Griffith Park has Cowboy-Native-centric diversity problems, that the Huntington Library in San Marino has Manuscript-Gardens-centric diversity problems, that the African American Museum in Exposition Park has Black-centric diversity problems, that the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo has Japanese-centric diversity problems, that the Skirball Museum in Brentwood has Jewish-centric diversity problems.

Or that the LA County Museum of Natural History in Expo Park has Dinosaur-bones-specimans-dioramas-centric diversity problems.

Oh my God! The lack of diversity is ridiculous! Simply ridiculous. What will we ever do?
Anonymous said…
The Getty was allowed to drop one area of collecting of the founder - Islamic carpets - and replace it, which they did with works on paper, which included photography and drawings.

The modern sculpture at the Getty Center belongs to the Trust, not the Museum and isn't shown with the museum collections.
Anonymous said…
I forgot to add that the Broad Museum in downtown LA has abstract-centric diversity problems and the Hammer Museum in West LA has LA-centric diversity problems.

Oh, and the California Science Museum in Expo Park has space-shuttle-centric diversity problems.
Anonymous said…
I left out that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in midtown LA has non-transparency-non-ethical-non-black-ink-centric diversity problems.

Now THAT'S something to complain about.
Anonymous said…
^^^There is no need to insert "politics" into the cultural scene. Politics has always inhered in the cultural scene. It's always already been there and back.

Really, you need to catch up, because the proposition that politics is "supplementary" (as Derrida would have described it) is older than its formal deconstruction.

Moreover, it's not the "proletariat" (whatever that means for you) who are resisting the return of the repressed (politics). It's those who are defending "white privilege" in the form of the encyclopedic museum. The encyclopedic museum is itself a political construction. That story is told here:

Anonymous said…
It doesn't make sense for the Getty to expand into Latin American or Asian art, unless they collect antiquities like the Norton Simon does with Asian art. These areas are already strong at LACMA. Otherwise, the Getty is just competing with LACMA. European old masters are difficult to collect and require a lot of money. It's best they stick to what they're already doing.
Anonymous said…
> Moreover, it's not the "proletariat" (whatever
> that means for you) who are resisting the return
> of the repressed (politics). It's those who are
> defending "white privilege" in the form of the
> encyclopedic museum.

How you can square the white privilege of a Michael Govan and Peter Zumthor, in which the former (if not latter too) has been evasive, unethical and underhanded about a wildly costly project - and which relies on county tax monies, including from low-income Angelenos - as somehow not the essence of what you attribute to the so-called repression of an "encyclopedic" museum would make even Comrade Stalin and Chairman Mao blush with embarrassment.

Let them eat cake.
Anonymous said…
^^^As I argued above, it's the Save-LACMA mob that is defending "white privilege" in the form of the encyclopedic museum.

Don't believe me. Don't believe Zumthor or Govan. But it's becoming harder and harder to deny. Here is the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) on the subject of white supremacy and the encyclopedic museum:

Asked to respond to the uproar over the post on Wednesday, Max Hollein, the Met’s director, said in a statement to The [NY] Times: “There is no doubt that the Met and its development is also connected with a logic of what is defined as white supremacy. Our ongoing efforts to not only diversify our collection but also our programs, narratives, contexts and staff will be further accelerated and will benefit in urgency and impact from this time.”

As to the "low-income Angelenos", stop pretending you care. They are just pawns in your game of white privilege. If you cared, you would recognize how much Govan has done to diversify the collections and expand LACMA's audience. How do you think he won the support of the Board of Supervisors? Not by reaching out to the Save-LACMA clan.

Anonymous said…
> ^^^As I argued above, it's the Save-LACMA
> mob that is defending "white privilege"
> in the form of the encyclopedic museum.

LOL. You're doing such a verbal contortionist routine in order to make your arrogant, elitist, unethical approach to the rip-off/con-game of Govan-Zumthor sound like not the epitome of white privilege (actually snotty privilege in general), that a yoga expert and high-wire acrobat would be impressed.

Anonymous said…
How does a post about the Getty acquiring a wonderful trove of Dutch drawings turn into a name calling discussion of a LACMA construction project? Save LACMA Gang.

Please, spare us, go picket the construction site.

Getty, wonderful acquisition. So many gorgeous treasures.

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