Getty acquires its first Auguste Rodin sculpture, on display today

There’s a first time for everything, even for wealthy art institutions.

The Getty Museum has added its first sculpture by Auguste Rodin to its permanent collection, officials announced on Tuesday. Rodin’s “Christ and Mary Magdalene” is scheduled to go on display starting Tuesday at the Getty Center in Brentwood.

Rodin’s sculpture, which dates from 1908, is a marble work that stands 3½ feet tall and appears to depict Jesus Christ on the cross with Mary Magdalene pressed closely alongside. The artist is believed to have wanted the figures to be of ambiguous identity, and referred to the sculpture by different titles during his life, including “The Genius and the Pity.”

The sculpture is just the second work by Rodin to enter the Getty’s permanent collection. The other is a watercolor titled “Sphinx” acquired in 2008. The museum acquired the Rodin sculpture through the Daniel Katz Gallery in London, a Getty spokeswoman said. The museum declined to discuss how much it paid for the artwork.

In addition, the Getty said it has acquired a 17th century sculpture by the Italian artist Pietro Tacca. The bronze work, “Belvedere Antinous,” is 2 feet tall and depicts a nude male standing, with his left leg slightly bent, and holding a piece of drapery.


Tacca’s sculpture, which dates from around 1630, is based on a Roman marble of the same title that resides in the Vatican Museums. The Getty said it acquired the bronze sculpture through Sotheby’s.

“Belvedere Antinous” is also scheduled to go on display starting Tuesday at the Getty Center.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT