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Entertainment & Arts

The Getty acquires Italian masterpieces, now among the collection’s ‘greatest works’

“Virgin and Child With Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist,” Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572).
“Virgin and Child With Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist” by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) has been acquired by the Getty Museum.
(The Getty)

The Getty said Thursday that it had acquired Italian masterpieces — a religious painting by Renaissance master Agnolo Bronzino and a pair of Gothic marble sculptures by Giovanni di Balduccio — that rank among the “greatest works” in the museum’s collection.

The painting, “Virgin and Child With Saint Elizabeth and Saint John the Baptist” (1540-1545), and the sculptures known as “The Annunciation” (1333-34) are in extraordinarily good condition and were purchased from an unnamed private collector in a rare offering of such historically important, valuable works, said Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts.

 “The Annunciation” (about 1333-34) by Gothic sculptor Giovanni di Balduccio
“The Annunciation” (about 1333-34) by Gothic sculptor Giovanni di Balduccio
(The Getty )

Bronzino was one of the greatest painters in Florence during the mid-16th century. His religious and history paintings were valued above all his other subjects, Potts said. Similarly, Di Balduccio was the greatest late-Gothic sculptor of his generation, and “The Annunciation” survived with remarkably little damage for hundreds of years after the chapel in which it was originally housed was destroyed.

“They are in different ways both quite transformative additions to the collection,” Potts said. “They’ll be among the most important objects in their class — one of the greatest paintings in the Getty’s collection and the sculptures, likewise.”

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The Bronzino, which has never before been exhibited in a museum, will go on display Thursday. The sculptures will appear in the galleries in early December, Potts said.

Missing since 1969, a portion of the Los Angeles Central Library’s bronze Well of the Scribes has been found in Bisbee, Ariz. But two pieces are still missing.


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