Subscriber content

A new Quentin Metsys enters the Getty

All the versions of this article: English , français
1. Quentin Metsys (1466-1530)
Vierge à l’Enfant, vers 1520-1525
Huile sur panneau - 75,3 x 62,9 cm
Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum
Photo : Christie’s
See the image in its page

5/7/24 – Acquisition – Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum – The reappearance of this Madonna of the Cherries by Quentin Metsys has rightly sparked the interest of all those involved in the art market, and above all of the few museums capable of snapping up this splendid painting (ill. 1)! Unsurprisingly, it was the Getty Museum that quickly announced itself as the successful bidder, some time after it was sold for nine million pounds at Christie’s in London on Tuesday 2 July. However, the panel has not only attracted attention on account of its quality and predictable destination, but also owes its fame to its recent history, which we must briefly summarise on the basis of the information we have at present, even if there are still a few grey areas that can of course be explained by the large number of known versions of this Italianate Virgin with Child.

2. Quentin Metsys (1466-1530)
Vierge à l’Enfant, vers 1520-1525
Huile sur panneau - 75,3 x 62,9 cm
Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum
Photo : Christie’s
See the image in its page

On 9 July 2015, one of them was sold at Christie’s in London for £254,000, after having been estimated at £60/80,000: taken from a Paris sale in 1920, and having remained in France ever since, it was described as "studio of Quentin Metsys" and was accompanied by a very honest description of the image’s fortunes, quoting the art historian Peter van den Brink, who considered only two versions to be autographs: that held by the Mauritshuis in The Hague, which came from the palace of Het Loo, and that, which went on sale at Sotheby’s in New York just six months earlier, in January 2015, after spending five years on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Then the cat was out of the bag, when the buyer of the…

To access this content, you must subscribe to The Art Tribune. The advantages and conditions of this subscription, which will also allow you to support The Art Tribune, are described on the subscription page. If you would like to test the subscription, you can subscribe for one month (at €8) and if you don’t like it, you can send us an e-mail asking us to unsubscribe you (at least ten days before the next direct debit).

If you are already a subscriber, sign in using this form.

Your comments

In order to be able to discuss articles and read the contributions of other subscribers, you must subscribe to The Art Tribune. The advantages and conditions of this subscription, which will also allow you to support The Art Tribune, are described on the subscription page.

If you are already a subscriber, sign in.