Art lovers and history buffs in Los Angeles will have a unique opportunity to see a never-before exhibited painting at the J. Paul Getty Museum next year. “Christ as the Man of Sorrows,” painted between 1520 and 1530 by Dutch master Quentin Metsys, has spent most of its existence in a private collection, but will go on display for the first time in modern history in Spring 2019 at the Getty Center.
The Getty’s new painting is a depiction of Christ, shown wearing the Crown of Thorns and in visible agony. Experts at the Getty Museum commented on the painting’s excellent state of preservation but noted that it will still undergo a short period of conservation and technical study.
The painting has been in a private collection for centuries and was previously unknown to art historians. Its discovery and attribution expand the oeuvre of one of the leading painters in early sixteenth-century Antwerp.
“Christ as the Man of Sorrows is a powerful and deeply moving painting that exemplifies the sophisticated devotional imagery that made Metsys famous and played a major role in Antwerp’s renown as a leading center of painting in the early 16th century,” Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said. Potts also told reporters that the painting already ranks within the Getty’s most important finds.
Although not a household name, Quentin Metsys is known among art historians for his portraits, which included sophisticated use of color and evocative expressions. He was among the most prominent and esteemed painters in the Netherlands during the early 16th century, prized by the collectors of his time but since overshadowed by other artists.
This is the first work by Metsys in the Getty’s collection and the only painting by the master in Southern California.