The J. Paul Getty Museum announced the acquisition of Christ as the Man of Sorrows, painted between 1520-30 by Quinten Massijs (1465/1466 – 1530). The painting has been in a private collection for centuries and was previously unknown to art historians. Its discovery and attribution expands the oeuvre of one of the leading painters in early sixteenth-century Antwerp.
In the late nineteenth century, the picture, then in a princely collection in Bavaria, was listed in an auction catalog attributed to the fifteenth-century Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden. The painting remained with the family bearing this attribution through the twentieth century. It was never published or exhibited. In 2016, experts assessed the work and attributed it to Massijs, notably for the delicate modeling, crisp details and close resemblance to the artist’s large-scale narrative treatments of other Christian subjects, such as his Ecce Homo (Venice, Palazzo Ducale).
Christ as a Man of Sorrows was exported from Germany to the UK, and the Getty Museum purchased the painting recently in a private sale. It is the first work by Massijs in the Getty’s collection and the only painting by the master in Southern California. After a short period of conservation and technical study, it will go on view in Spring 2019, exhibited to the public for the first time in modern history, at the Getty Museum, Getty Center.