Jacopo da Pontormo’s “Visitation” Makes Its First-Ever Trip to the United States

Jacopo da Pontormo’s “Visitation” Makes Its First-Ever Trip to the United States

This fall, Italian painter Jacopo da Pontormo’s masterpiece “Visitation” is coming to the United States for the first time since its creation in the 1520s. Presented as part of the exhibition “Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters,” the 16th-century painting will be on view at the Morgan Library starting September 7. The exhibition also includes a preparatory drawing of “Visitation” and the painting “Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap,” which was thought to be lost until it was discovered in a private collection in 2008.

Jacopo da Pontormo (1494–1556), “Visitation,” 1528–1529, oil on panel, Pieve dei Santi Michele e Francesco, Carmignano. Photography by Antonio Quattrone.

The newly restored “Visitation,” which has served as an altarpiece in a small parish church west of Florence called Pieve dei Santi Michele e Francesco, stands over six feet tall and depicts an encounter between the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist). A student of Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo is considered to be an influential figure in the Mannerist movement, which emerged in the 1520s toward the end of the Italian High Renaissance. The unnatural composition and coloring of “Visitation” exemplifies some of the defining themes of Mannerism and sheds light on Pontormo’s larger body of work.

“Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters” will be on view at the Morgan through January 6, 2019, after which it will travel to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Top Image: The Morgan Library & Museum