16th Century Painting Heads to Los Angeles After 250 Years in Britain

A 16th century painting that’s been in private hands for more than four centuries and in Britain for nearly 250 years has been acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.


“Virgin With Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene” will be the Getty’s first work by Parmigianino, who painted and made prints in Italy during the late Renaissance.


The sale was contingent on whether a British buyer stepped forward to make a competitive offer, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.


An export license allowing the Parmigianino to leave Britain was deferred in February to allow British institutions a chance to bid for the work, but the deferral expired June 9.


The National Gallery of London, which has shown the painting, considered a purchase but ultimately decided against it.


Art News reported that the painting dating from around 1530 to 1540 was sold via Sotheby’s by the Dent-Brocklehurst family of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire. The publication put the value at more than $31 million.


In an interview last year with the Times, Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts called the Parmigianino “one of the few late Renaissance paintings still in private hands. It’s in fantastic condition, which is so rare for this period.”


The museum said it hopes to put the piece on view with other 16th century Italian works but provided no specific timeline.

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