The group includes drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob Ruisdael, Gerrit van Honthorst and other artists of the 'Golden Age' of Dutch art.
The discussions between the Getty and the collector took place over the past two years and were finalised earlier this year.
The works also include a monumental early watercolour by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). A panoramic landscape from c.1901, it was made early in his artistic career, well before he became part of De Stijl movement and embarking into abstract art.
This picture previously sold at auction at Christie’s Amsterdam for a hammer price of around $150,000 in December 2016 (€182,500 including fees).
Stephanie Schrader, curator of drawings who spearheaded the acquisition, said: “This landmark acquisition of 39 drawings from a private collector will allow our visitors to explore in depth the subjects and techniques that made artists of the Dutch Republic so renowned and beloved.”
Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said: “This major acquisition dramatically enhances our Dutch drawings collection, increasing it by a third, and placing it among the most important museum holdings in the US. Several drawings represent artists who are almost never available on the market, including Cornelis Vroom, Hendrick Dubbels, Jacob Pynas and Gerrit Pietersz, adding rarity and depth to the group.”
Among the collection there are nine figure studies, genre scenes and portraits including Young Man Leaning on a Stick (c.1629) by Rembrandt van Rijn.
Five drawings demonstrate the Dutch fascination with the natural world such as Jacob Marrel’s watercolour of Four Tulips (c.1635-1645) referring to the Tulipmania that took hold at the time when the speculative prices for tulip bulbs reached astonishing heights before the market collapse in 1637. Also a plate from the Caterpillar Book, 1679, by Maria Sibylla Merian.
There is also a selection of 18 drawn landscapes and seascapes (including the Mondrian) and seven religious and historical scenes.
The 39 drawings are:
- Ancient Ruins in a Landscape, c.1646, by Jan Asselijn (Dutch, about 1615-52)
- Landscape with a Road below Cliffs near Bracciano, about 1625, by Bartolomeus Breenbergh (Dutch, 1598-1657)
- Man-of-War and Small Vessels, 1653, by Caspar van den Bos (Dutch, 1634-56)
- Ships at a Quai with a City in the Background, late 1660s, by Hendrick Dubbels (Dutch, 1621-1707)
- Mountain Landscape with a Chapel, c.1600-03, by Jacques de Gheyn II (Dutch, 1565-1629)
- West Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight, 1646, by Lambert Doomer (Dutch, 1624-1700)
- Norwegian Landscape with a Timber Yard, 1644, by Allart van Everdingen (Dutch, 1621-75)
- Landscape near Arnhem, 1900-01, by Piet Mondrian (Dutch, 1872-1944)
- Cottage among Trees, about 1652-53, by Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/29-82)
- View of Part of City of Amsterdam, c.1686, by Abraham Rutgers (Dutch, 1632-99)
- Antique Ruins, c.1665, by Willem Schellinks (Dutch, About 1627-78)
- The House with a Little Tower Seen from the Northeast, c.1660, by Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636-72)
- A Lady and Gentleman Falconing, 1629, by Esaias van de Velde (Dutch, 1587-1630)
- Landscape with Ruins, about 1615-16, by Jan van de Velde II (Dutch, 1593-1641)
- Forest Scene, c.1650, by Adriaen Hendriksz. Verboom (Dutch, about 1628-70)
- Mountain Landscape with a Distant View Behind, c.1635-40, by Cornelis Vroom (Dutch, about 1591-61)
- River Landscape with a Castle in the Distance, c.1650, by Anthonie Waterloo (Dutch, 1609-90)
- Courtyard of an Italian Tavern, c.1644-1653, by Thomas Adriaensz. Wyck (Dutch, 1616-77)
- The Messenger of God Appearing to Joshua, c.1640, by Ferdinand Bol (Dutch, 1616-80)
- Allegorical Portrait of the Four Eldest Children of the King and Queen of Bohemia, c.1631, by Gerrit van Honthorst (Dutch, 1592-1656)
- The Crucifixion, c.1650, by Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dutch, 1627-78)
- Manasseh, Repentant Sinner from the Old and New Testament, 1596, by Karel van Mander (Dutch, 1548-1606)
- Amorous Couple, c.1623, by Jacob Matham (Dutch, 1571-1631)
- Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, 1608, by Gerrit Pietersz. (Dutch, 1566-1612)
- Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, c.1650, by Jacob Pynas (Dutch, c.1592/93-after 1650)
- Horse with a Rider Talking to a Man at an Inn, c.1630, by Hendrick Avercamp (Dutch, 1585-1634)
- Reclining Female Nude Seen from Behind, c.1655-61, by Ferdinand Bol (Dutch, 1616-80)
- Young Woman at a Balustrade, 1650, by Jan de Bray (Dutch, about 1627-97)
- Peasant Couple with a Drinker, 1689, by Cornelis Dusart (Dutch, 1660-1704)
- Sleeping Girl, c.1652, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (Dutch, 1621-74)
- Violin Player, c.1653, by Adriaen van Ostade (Dutch 1610-85)
- Young Man Leaning on a Stick, c.1629, by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-69)
- Study of a Man Holding a Basket, 1650-60, by Willem Schellinks (Dutch, About 1627-78)
- Youth Seated on a Bench, 1660s, by Moses ter Borch (Dutch, 1645-67)
- Four Tulips, a double page from a Tulip Book, c.1635-45, by Jacob Marrel (German, 1613/14-81)
- Metamorphosis of a Small Emperor Moth on a Damson Plum, plate 13 of the Caterpillar Book, 1679, by Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717)
- Tulips from The Brandemandus Tulip Book, c.1633-37, Unknown maker, Dutch
- Three Dragonflies, 1681, by Rochus van Veen (Dutch, active 1660-93)
- Purple Oleander, 1691, by Pieter Withoos (Dutch, 1654-92)