Getty Buys a Jacopo Bassano
|Jacopo Bassano, The Miracle of the Quails, 1554. J. Paul Getty Museum|
The Getty Museum has acquired a monumental Venetian Renaissance painting, The Miracle of the Quails by Jacopo Bassano. Never exhibited in recent years, it was documented by the artist himself as a 1554 commission for Venetian aristocrat Domenico Priuli. The painting was originally paired with a 1551 Lazarus and the Rich Man now in the Cleveland Museum of Art. At some early point the paintings were separated; in the 20th century The Miracle of the Quails was in Bergamo, carrying an attribution to Tintoretto. In the 1550s Bassano's art took on a dramatic chiaroscuro that has been seen as a precursor to Caravaggio. Here he juxtaposes naturalistic figures, almost tumbling out of the canvas, with Moses and Aaron (standing at left) in a rarely depicted Old Testament subject. The landscape is believed to be based on artist's hometown of Bassano.
It's increasingly rare for a major Renaissance painting of this scale (59 by 92.5 inches) to come on the market. Along with a Bassano portrait at the Getty and the famous Flight Into Egypt at the Norton Simon Museum, greater L.A. now has the best representation of Bassano's art in the U.S. The Miracle of the Quails is to go on view at the Getty in early November.
I notice, however, such multi-feet works are a dime a dozen at, for example, the Louvre. So it's nice seeing the Getty making an effort to bring some of that aspect of historical European canvases to the local scene.
Generally, wide-angle paintings in LA are limited to the nouveau-hipster stuff at the Broad, Hammer or MOCA. Or what LACMA seems to be increasingly fascinated by.