A painting by impressionist master CAMILLE PISSARRO that was seized from its French Jewish owner during World War II is at the center of a court battle beginning Tuesday in Paris after surfacing at an exhibition.
“La Cueillette des Pois” (Picking Peas), a gouache from 1887, emerged earlier this year on display at the French capital’s Marmottan Museum, more than 70 years after being snatched from art collector Simon Bauer in Nazi-occupied France.
A court will on Tuesday begin examining who are the rightful owners — Bauer’s descendants or an American couple who say they had no idea as to its wartime fate when they bought it at auction in 1995.
Bauer, a self-made businessman, was among the thousands of French Jews who were rounded up for deportation in 1944. He narrowly escaped being sent to the Nazi death camps due to a train drivers’ strike.
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Andreas Achenbach’s Sicilian Landscape (1861).
The current possessor of an Andreas Achenbach (1815-1910) painting recently withdrawn from a Dusseldorf museum on charges that it is “Nazi loot” protests that it was acquired in a normal “art gallery transaction.” Whatever that is… in the Germany of the 1930s.
The painting is being claimed by the Canadian-based Max Stern estate, named after Max Stern (1904-1987) a Jewish art dealer and collector who, as a member of the Jewish faith, was forced by the Nazi government to liquidate his gallery’s inventory.
That is usually referred to as a “forced sale” and an “act of duress.”
Nevertheless, the owner of the Achenbach painting vows to fight for his property rights.
Source: Holocaust Art Restitution Project.
Baron Mór Lipót Herzog (1869-1934) was a passionate Jewish art collector in pre-war Hungary. Over his lifetime, he assembled the Herzog Collection, one of Europe’s great private collections of art and the largest in Hungary prior to World War II. However, the Herzog family’s legacy as patrons of the arts came to a sudden halt during the Hungarian Holocaust, when the Hungarian government, assisted by the Nazi regime in Germany, systematically annihilated its Jewish population and plundered their personal property and cultural treasures.
When: 7 abril – 29 october 2017
Where: Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Henryk Ross (1910-1991).
A “Jeune femme en buste” dated 1900 and painted by Renoir has a minimalist provenance as it awaits sale in March 2017 through Bonhams.
The only listed owner is a Private collection in Southern Germany, which might include Bavaria.
For a French impressionist painting to end up in Southern Germany, there are many possible pathways.
Once again, this is a clarion call for clarity because history has a terrible habit of interfering with the ownership trail of works of art, especially during periods of intense civil strife and military conflict.
In the case of this painting, two world wars and a genocide occurred before the dust settled in 1945.
Wouldn’t it be appropriate to understand a bit more about this work’s history?
Last but not least, don’t authenticators and authors of catalogues raisonnes bear some responsibility in attesting to the accuracy of a provenance or are they just concerned about authenticity and nothing else? That would be convenient because authenticity issues do not necessarily imply full understanding of a work of art’s history. If that is in fact how authors of catalogues raisonnes and authenticators operate, we are really in trouble and their work products should be called into question.
Source: Holocaust Art Restitution Project.
Dr Oetker, a family-owned German manufacturer says it will return a portrait by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) acquired by Hermann Göring to the heir of Jacques Goudstikker (1897-1940) a Jewish art dealer forced to flee the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded.
The Portrait of Adriaen Hendriksz Moens was among the works in Goudstikker’s gallery inventory when the family fled in 1940. It was forcibly sold and acquired by Göring, the founder of the Gestapo and the commander of the Luftwaffe.
A significant private art collection that includes a rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as works by Rembrandt and Renoir, will be owned by the Polish government under an agreement signed Thursday with the family foundation that has administered the collection since its inception.
The Czartoryski collection has been one of Europe’s most important private art collections. It contains 250,000 historic manuscripts and documents, some of which used to belong to Polish kings. It also has 86,000 museum artifacts that include 593 precious artworks, most notably Leonardo’s “Lady With an Ermine” (1489-1490); Rembrandt’s “Landscape With the Good Samaritan” (1638); and sketches by Rembrandt, Auguste Renoir and Albrecht Dürer.
The decision changes only the status of the collection, which was set up more than 200 years ago by Princess Izabela Czartoryska. The artworks will remain where they are today.
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Alfred Flechtheim (1878-1937), art dealer.