Saint Martina by Pietro da Cortona acquired by the LACMA


1. Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669)
Saint Martina, c. 1635-1640
Oil on canvas - 95.2 x 76.2 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : LACMA

1/08/2007 — Acquisition — Los Angeles, County Museum of Art — The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently announced the acquisition thanks to funding from the Ahmanson Foundation of a unknown painting by Pietro da Cortona representing Saint Martina (ill. 1) formerly in an English residence since 1840.

The saint, shown alone, is carrying the palm leaves of martyrdom and the butcher hooks with which she was tortured. This figure often appears in the artist’s work as he was also the architect of the church of Saint-Luke-Saint-Martine in Rome. In France, the museum in Rennes owns a painting representing The Virgin, the Child Jesus and Saint Martina and another one with the same subject hangs in the Louvre. In the United States, the Kimbell Museum of Art owns a Virgin with Child and Saint Martina and the Princeton Art Museum acquired in 1998 a Saint Martina Refusing a Sacrifice to the Idols.

2. Gian-Domenico
Tiepolo (1727-1804)
Christ and the Adulteress
Oil on canvas - 72.7 x 104.8 cm
Los Angeles, County Museum of Art
Photo : Cabinet Blondeau-Breton

The LACMA is one of the most active American museums in the acquisition of paintings and classical sculptures, under the guidance of its curator Jean-Patrice Marandel. Also noteworthy, still in the field of Italian art and donated by the same foundation in 2005, is the painting by Gian Domenico Tiepolo purchased at the Etienne Breton Gallery in Paris, Christ and the Adulteress (ill. 2). The Ahmanson Foundation also financed the acquisition at public auction in Paris of the Portrait of Jean-Pierre Delahaye by Jacques-Louis David as well as some sculptures which we will talk about shortly.

Version française


Didier Rykner, mercredi 1er août 2007



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