Getty Reunites Lavinia Fontana Drawing and Painting

Lavinia Fontana, The Wedding Feast at Cana, about 1580. J. Paul Getty Museum 

The Getty Museum has acquired Lavinia Fontana's preparatory drawing for the Wedding Feast at Cana, an oil-on-copper painting purchased earlier this year. An essay on the Getty site explores what the drawing reveals about the artist's creative process. 

Executed in pen and brown ink over black chalk, the drawing was purchased from a private collection in Geneva. It had been auctioned two years ago in Paris, as studio of Giorgio Vasari, for 6,600 Euros. That attribution is understandable as the sheet adapts a lunette-format Wedding Feast drawing by Vasari. Lavinia's artist-father Prospero collaborated with Vasari and owned many of his drawings.

Lavinia's drawing is nearly the same size as the copper painting and was incised for transfer, clinching its attribution to Lavinia. There are only a few ink drawings by Lavinia known. The Getty essay notes that this may help in identifying others.

Wedding Feast, the painting, now has a period frame replacing the rococo one it came with when purchased from Nicholas Hall, New York.

UPDATE: The painting and drawing will go on view at the Getty Center in late January 2023. They will travel to Dublin for the National Gallery of Ireland's "Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker" (May 6-Aug. 27, 2023). 

Lavinia Fontana, Wedding Feast at Cana,  in period frame