Getty Acquires 17 Remarkable Drawings

Sunday, May 5, 2024
Getty Acquires 17 Remarkable Drawings

The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired 17 drawings dating from the 16th to early 20th centuries by a range of European artists, including a pastel by Eva Gonzalès, an important nude by Edgar Degas, a rare genre scene by Guercino, and key sheets by Joseph Wright of Derby, Luca Cambiaso, Giovanni Boldini, and Odilon Redon.

"The addition of these 17 highly important sheets by major artists of the 16th to 20th centuries will greatly enrich the status and quality of our already renowned collection of drawings,” says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “To comment on just one of these outstanding works, the pastel by the French Impressionist Eva Gonzalès, The Maid of Honor (La Demoiselle d’honneur), is her most celebrated work and a major addition to our holdings by women artists. This drawing received rave reviews at the 1880 Paris Salon where her mentor, Edouard Manet, praised her for this success. Sadly, her career was short-lived, as she passed away just three years later."

Another notable acquisition is At Rest after the Bath (Au repos Après le Bain), one of just 20 works that Edgar Degas chose to publish during his lifetime in his 1897 volume Degas: Vingt Dessins. The drawing complements the Museum’s holdings of other works by the artist, including a photographwhich was part of his process and inspiration for making the pastel.

One of Joseph Wright of Derby’s most accomplished drawings, Study of a Boy Reading, joins the collection, featuring a young boy intently reading a book rested on a table. The artist effectively heightens the sense of light and shadow in the composition by employing the unique medium of grisaille pastel, a monochromatic technique that uses varying shades of gray to emphasize depth.

Full of humor and humanity, Guercino’s Spectators Hiding Behind a Barricade strengthens Getty’s collection of genre scenes, portraits, and landscapes by the artist. The rare genre scene features a group of figures hiding behind a tall wooden barricade, peering through at what may have been a bull run or a Palio horse race in Italy. Rapidly sketched with brush, pen, and ink, the drawing was made on the back of a draft letter likely written by Paolo Antonio, the artist’s brother, accountant, and studio manager.

“We are constantly striving to build the Getty collection of drawings for our audiences,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Each of these new additions adds an important facet to our collection, and we look forward to displaying them in our dedicated galleries and, when not on display, sharing them with students, historians, and visitors in our public study room for years to come.”

Main Image :The Maid of Honor (La Demoiselle d’honneur), 1879. Eva Gonzalès (French, 1849-1883). Pastel on canvas. 17 11/16 x 14 9/16 in. (45 x 37 cm). Getty Museum

Stephanie Cime

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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