The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, July 25, 2014


Getty Museum announces two landmark sculpture acquisitions, including one by Auguste Rodin
Attributed to Pietro Tacca (Italian, 1577 - 1640), Antinous, about 1630. Bronze, H: 64.8 cm.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today two highly important sculpture acquisitions: Christ and Mary Magdalene (1908), a large marble group by one of history’s most renowned sculptors, Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917), and a bronze statue of the Belvedere Antinous of about 1630 by Italian master Pietro Tacca (1577-1640). Both acquisitions will go on view today at the Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

“In the history of art, Rodin is a towering figure whose achievements revolutionized modern sculpture,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, in making the announcement. “Christ and Mary Magdalene is a powerful and expressive work that exemplifies all the key aspects of his style at the height of his artistic achievement. One of only two versions of this subject, and the result of a prestigious commission by a major patron of the arts, it also carries a distinguished provenance history. I have no doubt that it will soon become one of the most popular highlights of the Getty Museum’s collection.”

In discussing the second new acquisition, the Belvedere Antinous by Pietro Tacca, Potts adds: “Pietro Tacca was the leading Italian sculptor of his day and became famous for his own highly inventive compositions (including a number of monumental equestrian sculptures of European monarchs) and for his adaptations of the most famous sculptures from classical antiquity. That this striking piece once belonged to the ‘Sun King,’ King Louis XIV of France, underscores Tacca’s status and influence in Baroque art history.”

Christ and Mary Magdalene (1908)
At about three-and-a-half feet tall, Rodin’s impressive Christ and Mary Magdalene depicts a dying male figure nailed to a rocky cross being mourned by a female figure, their bodies pressed closely together. Although Christ and Mary Magdalene is the title by which the work is commonly known, and the title it was given when it was first commissioned, Rodin gave the composition different names, saying that he could have called it “the poet, the thinker or the artist, in one word the man whom other men always crucify and women always comfort.” In later instances, he also referred to the composition as The Genius and the Pity and Prometheus and an Oceanid.

The sculpture was commissioned in 1907 by the wealthy industrialist Karl Wittgenstein (father of the famous philosopher Ludwig and pianist Paul) for his collection in Vienna and has been in private hands ever since. The block of stone was acquired in early 1908 and the carving was entrusted to Rodin’s primary marble carver Victor Peter (Paris, 1840-1918). The sculpture was completed and sent to Vienna in 1909. In order to keep up with the high demand for his work, Rodin routinely appointed talented marble carvers to realize his compositions in stone. More than just a technician, Peter played a critical role in the production of Rodin’s marbles and was himself a well-regarded artist.

Unlike most of Rodin’s sculptures, this group was never cast in bronze, making it a very rare and distinctive work. The first, and only other, version of the composition was commissioned by August Thyssen in 1905 and is in the Carmen Thyssen–Bornemisza collection in Madrid.

The dramatic composition of Christ and Mary Magdalene is complemented by the stark contrast between the highly polished surfaces of the naked flesh and the surrounding rough-hewn marble. The ingenious use of the non finito (“unfinished”) reflects the critical impact that the sculptures of the Renaissance master Michelangelo had on Rodin during his trip to Italy in 1876.

“This exquisite marble, which is in excellent condition, is an outstanding achievement in early 20th century art,” said Anne-Lise Desmas, head of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Getty Museum. “As well as being an exceptionally moving, indeed breathtaking, piece, it provides a critical reference point for our collection of late modern and contemporary sculpture.”

Christ and Mary Magdalene is the second work by Rodin to enter the Getty’s collection. Sphinx (about 1898–1900), a watercolor, was acquired by the Museum in 2008. In ancient mythology, the sphinx embodies an amalgam of human, lion, and hawk body parts. The subject of this drawing by Rodin does not literally represent such a beast; instead, the artist drew a young woman, who is standing frontally, with her arms folded. Sphinx will be displayed alongside the newly acquired sculpture.

Belvedere Antinous (about 1630)
The second work acquired by the Getty Museum is a striking sculpture in bronze from early 17th-century Italy.

Pietro Tacca’s two-foot tall image of the Belvedere Antinous depicts a nude young man standing with his weight on the right leg while the left is slightly bent. In the left hand he holds a piece of drapery that is thrown over his shoulder. The other hand is at his right hip, the fingers gripping a small piece of fabric. His face, framed by short curls of hair, with oval-shaped eyes, a long straight nose, small mouth and a round chin, is slightly inclined forward and towards his right.

This figure is based on an ancient Roman marble statue also known as the Belvedere Antinous, now in the Vatican Museum, itself based on a Greek original of the 4th-century B.C. The Roman marble was acquired by Pope Paul III (1468-1549) and quickly became famous, having been copied as early as 1545 by Francesco Primaticcio (Italian, 1504-1570). Indeed, the Belvedere Antinous was considered by artists, theorists, and collectors as the most beautiful surviving statue from antiquity, and as representing the perfect proportions of the male body. Reductions in bronze after famous ancient models, though rarely as large as Tacca’s, were proudly displayed in princely and aristocratic collections from the 16th century on.

The first documented reference of this Belvedere Antinous comes from a posthumous 1662 inventory of the belongings of French aristocrat and collector Louis Hesselin (1600-1662), who most likely purchased it during one of his trips to Italy in the 1630s. Hesselin was active in the service of two Kings of France, and the latter, King Louis XIV, was so taken with Hesselin’s taste that in 1663, after Hesselin’s death, he acquired 34 of the 40 bronzes in his collection. The “N. 4” engraved on the right ankle of the sculpture indicates its inventory number in the French royal collection. The work belonged to the French crown until the late 18th century, since when it has been in private collections. In 1999 it was included in an exhibition at the Louvre Museum devoted to the bronzes of the French Royal collection.

“Tacca was an extraordinary sculptor and this piece is a premiere example of his mastery of bronze,” said Desmas. “Even among the Getty Museum’s exceptional collection of sculpture by Florentine masters, it is sure to stand out.”

Both new acquisitions will be on view beginning Tuesday, June 10th at the Getty Center in the Museum’s North Pavilion.



Today's News

June 11, 2014

Strasbourg’s Museum of Contemporary Art opens exhibition of work by Daniel Buren

Previously unknown early work by Paul Gauguin discovered at Bonhams in London

Sotheby's to offer one of the most important works by Peter Doig ever to appear on the market

Getty Museum announces two landmark sculpture acquisitions, including one by Auguste Rodin

The Frick Collection announces plan to enhance and renovate its museum and library

Julien's Auctions announces more rare pieces of art created by controversial graffiti artist Banksy

Chinese pants may be world's oldest: Report says 3,300-year-old trousers found

Masterworks from the collections of the Dukes of Northumberland to be offered at Sotheby's

Landmark collection of over 550 photographs by Harry Callahan donated to Vancouver Art Gallery

Archaeologists narrow search for remains of 'Quixote' author Miguel de Cervantes

Refurbished gallery reopens to the public with a new display and longer opening hours

Larry Clark opens his archive to offer unique photographs for £100 at Simon Lee Gallery

First significant exhibition of British folk art at a major institution opens at Tate Britain

Exhibition of new paintings by Sean Scully opens at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Belgrave St Ives opens Jessica Cooper's first solo show with the gallery

Antony Gormley creates inhabitable sculpture for new London hotel

Dame Lucie Rie ceramics and Liberty & Co. designer Archibald Knox offered at Bonhams

Exhibition of works by photography pioneer Dr. Harold Edgerton opens at Michael Hoppen

One of the most significant works by one of Britain's best-loved artists sells for £2.3 million

"Painting or How to Get Rid of It" opens at the French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center hires David A. Dahlin as President and CEO

1844 Native American Campaign Flag brings $59,375 at Heritage Auctions

Waddington Custot Galleries opens exhibition of recent paintings by Ian Davenport

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site