Cleveland Museum of Art snags Italian Mannerist masterpiece from London dealers, filling a major collection gap

Oct 17, 2019 674

Mannerism — the strangely refined, highly idiosyncratic style that dominated Italian art from the 1520s to the rise of Baroque art at the end of the 16th century — finally has a major presence in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The latest round of acquisitions at the museum, announced Wednesday, includes what it calls its first significant Italian Mannerist painting: the “Holy Family with the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine,” circa 1560, by the Florentine artist Maso da San Friano (1531–71).

“Objectively, it’s impossible to look at this picture and not see it’s a masterpiece,’’ said Cory Korkow, the museum’s associate curator of European art since 2013, who recommended the purchase. She said it was “completely electrifying’’ to see the painting for the first time at the Lullo Pampoulides Gallery in London earlier this year, where the dealers offered the work to Cleveland.

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