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.


Anonymous said…
7.6 feet wide is a fairly large dimension for that era of art.

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.
mughound said…
This should be slightly smaller than Getty’s Christ Entry into Brussels by Ensor. It’s good to see some grand scale paintings at the Getty for which there are few.
mughound said…
These are a lot of good purchases this year to fill up the walls or replace a lot of the mediocre works. This and the Bronzino being the most noteworthy. Although I miss those huge purchases like the $64M Manet that the Getty used to make at least twice a year.
Anonymous said…
How exciting! Not just a link to Caravaggio, this is the closest link I’ve seen to El Geco from Venice.
Anonymous said…
CBS reported that "the painting is widely considered Bassano’s most exceptional piece." Is this true or hyperbole?
Re: "widely considered Bassano's most exceptional piece": I can't imagine where CBS got that. Practically no one has seen this painting in person, and real experts aren't going to judge until they have. But FWIW, the Norton Simon Flight into Egypt is almost universally praised to skies and has been called Bassano's best painting in America, or maybe anywhere.
Re Norton Simon: when I'm in LA, I'd rather walk barefoot back to New York than miss going to see Francisco de Zurbarán's "Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose," [Norton Simon Foundation Accession Number: F.1972.06.P]. It is, to my mind, arguably, the most important Baroque painting in the United States.