The Getty Collection (2 of 2)
In 1983 the J. Paul Getty Museum took advantage
of a rare opportunity to establish a major collection of
European manuscript illumination. Such a collection formed
a natural complement to the museum's European paintings,
a holding begun by Mr. Getty himself. Assembled by Peter
and Irene Ludwig in Aachen, Germany, the celebrated collection
purchased by the Getty gave the museum a strong foundation,
with more than one hundred manuscripts. These books represent
the period from the ninth to the sixteenth century and include
masterpieces from nearly every region of Europe, for example
England, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Greece, and Italy.
In the area of Italian illumination, the Ludwig collection
contained a small core of notable masterworks, but the achievement
of Italian illuminators is so vast, reflecting many great
schools and artists over more than six hundred years, that
the Getty has consistently endeavored to enrich this group.
Proceeding slowly at first, the Getty's pace of acquisition
quickened in 2003 when a number of exceptional colletions—each
strong in Italian manuscript leaves and miniatures—reached
the market in quick succession. These are the collections of
Robert Lehman of New York, created in the first half of the
century; the Bernard Breslauer collection of London and New
York, formed largely in the last quarter of the century; and
that of Nella Longari of Milan, also developed in recent decades.
By acquiring highlights from each, the Getty was able to expand
its collection of Italian illumination into a more fully representative
holding. The selection of forty-five manuscripts, leaves, and cuttings
on view in this exhibition includes twenty-one works acquired
in the past few years.
Southern Italy (1 of 2)
Getty Collection (1 of 2)