The oil on paper Virgin and Child with Saint Mary Magdalen and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, c. 1535-40, by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (called Parmigianino) was bought by the Getty in 2016.
But culture minister Matt Hancock placed a temporary export bar on the 16th century masterpiece in February in the hope that a buyer in the UK would emerge to save the work for the nation.
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by The Arts Council, decided to recommend the export bar on the grounds of the painting’s aesthetic importance and outstanding significance to the study of Parmigianino’s oeuvre and to the 16th century practice of painting on paper laid on panel.
However no buyer came forward for the £24.5m painting before the June deadline and now the Getty can go ahead with taking the painting to its new home in LA.
The work was previously in Sudeley Castle, the Cotswolds home of the Dent-Brocklehurst family.
Dealer Bendor Grosvenor, in his blog Art History News, said: “It is of course sad that a picture like this has left the UK, but we can at least be sure that with the Getty it will be more visible than ever before. There are many other pictures on the export deferral list which institutions are making bids for, and we must hope that they are successful. We can't, alas, keep everything whilst still balancing the interest of private owners and public institutions.”