Getty Adds Two Still Lifes by Giacomo Ceruti, a Painter of Poverty

Giacomo Ceruti, Still Life with Hen and Onion, about 1750-1760. J. Paul Getty Museum

The Getty Museum has acquired two still lifes by Giacomo Ceruti (1698-1767), known as il Pitocchetto ("the little beggar"). Active in Brescia, Ceruti depicted society's outcasts (and what they ate) with a mixture of sympathy and clinical detachment. 

As a still life painter, Ceruti was contemporary with Chardin in France and Meléndez in Spain. According to the Getty label, Ceruti's Hen and Onion shows a white Livornese chicken, "a breed still common in Italy… particularly valued for its high level of egg production.… The attentive rendering of the rigid foot, still wing, and open beak conveys respect, almost sacred significance, to the dead creature."

There are few Ceruti paintings in U.S. museums, and (as far as I can tell) these are the only still lifes. There are figurative subjects by Ceruti in New York, RaleighAustin, and Seattle

The two still lifes are now on view in the Getty Center's South Pavilion, gallery S201. 

Giacomo Ceruti, Still Life with Bread, Salami, and Nuts, about 1750—1760


Anonymous said…
I'm not sure if the Getty bought these or if they were donated, but the Getty really needs to start making better acquisitions. For all the billions of dollars the Getty has, there's way too many mediocre pieces on their walls. Also, compared to the East Coast museums, the Getty's art collection is really small. No amount of perfectly-manicured gardens is going to compensate for it. The Getty should really consider buying someone's private art collection or start collecting a new field of art like pre-1900 American or Latin American art.
Anonymous said…
Huh?! Just search this blog for “Getty acquisition”. It’s been quite a decade for the Getty. Choice pieces in all key departments. Gentileschi masterpieces by daughter and father, Camille and Rodin, Watteau, Michelangelo, Degas, Bronzino… but the Getty must and should collect in depth.
Anonymous said…
There are no other American museums collecting on the level that the Getty is when it comes to old masters. Certainly under Timothy Potts, the Getty is buying much more frequently, so not every acquistion is going to be the spectacular Bernini bust. I think people in LA are a bit spoiled when it comes to the Getty’s art acquistions. The Getty just acquired the most beautiful Bronzino in the country, just pre-pandemic. Other museums are waiting once a decade for that type of acquisition. For the Getty, it’s more like once or twice a year, yet Angelenos expect more and faster.
Anonymous said…
No visitor to the Getty is in a hurry to see these ugly still lifes or the disturbing pig bladder painting.