The tour of Pontormo's masterpiece in the US continues. Now the Visitation flies to Los Angeles

Pontormo's Visitation continues its tour of the United States: it now flies to Los Angeles for an exhibition at the Getty Museum.

The Visitation by Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci, Pontorme di Empoli, 1494 - Florence, 1557), the great masterpiece by the genius of Mannerism, has made its way to the United States: in fact, from February 5 to April 28 it will be on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for the exhibition Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters, aimed at presenting paintings and drawings by the great artist to the public. The work has already been away from its home, the parish church of Saints Michael and Francis in Carmignano, for some time: it is in fact on tour in America (before being exhibited in Los Angeles it had in fact been shown in New York, at the Morgan Library), because the parish church is in urgent need of restoration, which can no longer be postponed, and it is hoped that the American trip will bring some money into the till (this is moreover an intent also stated in the colophon of the exhibition).

For the United States, this is an important event. “It is a privilege to bring the Visitation, one of Pontormo’s greatest masterpieces and one of the most beautiful and enigmatic paintings of 16th-century Italy, to Los Angeles,” said Timothy Potts, director of the Getty. “This is the first time the painting has traveled to the United States. It is one of those exceptional paintings that, once seen, cannot be forgotten, and I have no doubt that it will be a discovery for our visitors, both for its extraordinary beauty and for its moving depiction of a key episode in the recognition of Christ’s coming.”

The work has recently undergone a restoration that has advanced our knowledge of the artist’s technique and creative process. The Visitation will be shown at the Getty along with the only known preparatory drawing, on loan from the Uffizi (which is organizing the exhibition together with the Getty and the Morgan Library in New York), and two portraits, with their drawings. "By presenting the Visitation and two portraits produced in the same years along with their preparatory drawings," remarked Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of painting at the Getty Museum as well as curator of the exhibition, “this exhibition gives us a rare opportunity to reconsider Pontormo’s artistic evolution at a crucial stage of his career. It is poignant to think of a great master like Pontormo as he was working at the height of his abilities in such a tumultuous period, while his city was under siege. His works from this period, elegant and accomplished, are imbued with engaging sensitivity and feeling.” Indeed, the works on display in the exhibition were all created between 1528 and 1530, years of crisis for Florence (the siege of the city occurred between 1529 and 1530).

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from Drawing to Painting, written by the exhibition’s two curators (Davide Gasparotto and Bruce Edelstein), and is supported by Janine and J. Tomilson Hill, with additional support from the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture (FIAC). For more information you can visit the Getty Museum’s website .

Nellimmagine, a detail of Pontormo’s Visitation.

The tour of Pontormo's masterpiece in the US continues. Now the Visitation flies to Los Angeles
The tour of Pontormo's masterpiece in the US continues. Now the Visitation flies to Los Angeles

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