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Rare Triptych at the Getty

June 1, 2012

Maerten van Heemskerck, Ecce Homo (1544).

If you don’t already subscribe to the Dutch Embassy’s Orange Alert, you will want to.  Among the upcoming “Dutch visual arts, architecture and design projects in the United States” is an exhibition at the Getty (June 5, 2012–January 13, 2013) of a rare surviving religious-themed triptych by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498-1574). According to the alert: “Many of Heemskerck’s religious paintings were destroyed by Protestant iconoclasts who attacked churches and destroyed objects associated with the Catholic faith across the Netherlands in 1566. The Ecce Homo triptych stands out as an important survivor of that tumultuous period.”

More from the Alert:

Museum-goers will have the rare opportunity to view a complete triptych by Renaissance master Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), one of the most admired Netherlandish painters of the 16th century, when his dramatic Ecce Homo altarpiece (1544) is presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum in a focused exhibition from June 5, 2012 through January 13, 2013.

As a result of the Getty Museum’s Conservation Partnership Program and with the support of the Museum’s Paintings Conservation Council, the Ecce Homo triptych came to Los Angeles from the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland for conservation and study. Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck’s ‘Ecce Homo’ Altarpiece from Warsaw will be presented at the Getty for six months and helps mark the occasion of the National Museum’s 150th anniversary. The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) collaborated with the Getty Museum on this conservation project, conducting technical analysis of the painting.

Also:

The Ecce Homo decorated the family chapel of wealthy sheriff Jan van Drenckwaerdt in the Augustinian church in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, between about 1544 and 1572. The altarpiece, which is more than 6 feet wide when fully opened, features five scenes:  the central panel depicts the Ecce Homo (in which Pilate presents Christ to the crowd which calls for his crucifixion), a popular subject in Renaissance art; the left interior wing features the patron,  Jan van Drenckwaerdt and St. John the Evangelist; Jan’s wife, Margaretha de Jonge van Baertwyck and St. Margaret of Antioch appear on the right interior wing; and St. John the Evangelist and St. Margaret of Antioch are painted in grisaille on the left and right exterior panels. The triptych retains its original 16th-century frame, which features an elaborate carved architectural surrounding for the central panel.

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