Getty Adds 11th-Century Manuscript, Annibale Carracci Painting
|The Annunciation to the Shepherds in the Irmengard Codex. German, after 1053. Getty Museum. Images courtesy of Dr. Guenther Rare Books AG, Basel|
The Getty Museum has acquired a rare Ottonian (11th-century German) manuscript and an oil-on-copper painting by Annibale Carracci.
The little-known manuscript is being called the Irmengard Codex after its patron, Irmengard of Nellenburg, niece to Ottonian Emperor Henry II. It contains 15 full-page miniatures in a sweet-tart pastel palette.
The book's text is dated to 1030–1050. The illuminations were commissioned by Irmengard sometime after the 1053 battlefield death of her husband, Werner. Miniatures from this period are extremely rare. The Ludwig collection, acquired in 1983 as the foundation of the Getty's manuscript holdings, contained three Ottonian manuscripts. Another was added in 1985. Nothing comparable has appeared on the market since. The Codex was purchased from Dr. Guenther Rare Books, Basel.
|Annibale Carracci, Virgin and Child with St. Lucy, St. Dominic, and St. Louis of France, about 1596–1609. Getty Museum|
Annibale Carracci's Virgin and Child with St. Lucy, St. Dominic, and St. Louis of France combines a devotional image with a landscape picture-in-picture at upper right. Annibale had created pure landscape paintings as early as about 1590. The Getty painting also has still life elements of books, a basket, and Lucy's eyes on a platter. It's a lot to pack onto a copper plate just over 17 by 13 inches.
In the Bute collection for two centuries, the Virgin and Child was later on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from Nelson and Leona Shanks. It becomes the only painting by Annibale at any Los Angeles institution. The Getty has a large canvas by Annibale's older cousin Ludovico Carracci and a remarkable Head of a Woman, an oil-on-paper sketch by Annibale, that was acquired in 2019.
The Carracci is to go on view in April at the Getty Center. An exhibition built around the Irmengard Codex is planned for fall 2023.
|Framed image, from Davide Gasparotto's Instagram account|
More images from the Irmengard Codex—
|The Miracle of Mount Gargano|
|Irmengard and her Husband Werner and Christ and Saint Michael|