In the context of the Federal Act Concerning Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections adopted in 1998 (BGBl. 181/1998), on the instruction of the Upper Austrian State Governor the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum issued a report on the restitution of the artworks seized during the Nazi era.
In the year 2002 the State of Upper Austria adopted a restitution act relating to “Aryanised” art assets (State Law regarding Restitution Measures for Victims of National Socialism of 1.4.2002). The Upper Austrian Landeskulturdirektion [State Management of Culture] had previously already commissioned a scientific research project further to the aforementioned Restitutions Report. The basis of its investigation was the seized art assets in Upper Austria and the collections associated therewith.
The Institut für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte (Department for social and economic history) of Johannes Kepler University Linz was commissioned with the project under the project manager Univ. Prof Dr Michael John. The project staff were Univ. Ass. Dr Birgit Kirchmayr (Institut für Neuere Geschichte und Zeitgeschichte [Institute of Modern and Contemporary History], Johannes Kepler University) and Dr Friedrich Buchmayr (Library, St. Florian monastery).
In addition to researching the historical backgrounds, the investigation of objects that had been classified as questionable in the Landesmuseum’s restitution report were also anchored in the project remit. The project staff thereby worked in close cooperation with employees of the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum.
The focus of these investigations was an inventory of 17 paintings, on the index cards of which the entry was found “accepted from the Munich Collecting Point in 1945” and the provenance of which had not yet been known to the Landesmuseum. In the course of the investigations it ultimately proved possible to discover important findings regarding this inventory: The paintings had been acquired during the war by Nazi authorities, mainly in the context of the “Sonderauftrag Linz” [Special Commission: Linz] for the planned “Linz Führermuseum”.
The artworks stored in several depots (Reich’s art depot Kremsmünster, Schloss Thürntal depot, “Agathawirt” depot near St. Goisern) were taken over by the American specialised art consulting units in 1945 and stored in Linz in 1948, where the pictures reached the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum for safekeeping in 1951, where they were ultimately to remain.
It was also possible to garner information regarding the further provenance of these pictures, meaning their chain of ownership prior to the acquisition by Nazi offices, which in any event did not lead in all case to the clarification of the previous chain of ownership. The bulk of the paintings was purchased for the Führermuseum through German art dealers, only in individual cases could the previous owner be researched and thus a suspicion of being looted art verified or excluded. Detailed information on the research findings can also be found in the research project publication from 2007: Birgit Kirchmayr, Friedrich Buchmayr, Michael John: Geraubte Art in Oberdonau [Looted Art in the Upper Danube], Linz 2007 (Oberösterreich in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus Bd. 6 - Upper Austria during the era of National Socialism Vol. 6).
Confiscation during the era of National Socialism could be proven in two cases. A suspicion of being looted art could be clearly excluded in the case of two pictures, for the remaining 13 pictures there is lingering doubt as to the provenance based on current information. For this reason – in addition to the principle wish for transparency in this area on the part of the State of Upper Austria and the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum - the previous findings regarding the existence of the questionable pictures will also be published in this manner.
Photos and brief descriptions of two additional objects from seized collections, the owners of which are still unknown despite investigations, will likewise be published.
The following list of paintings describes objects of unresolved provenance in the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum.
Eduard Young (1823 - 1882)
Hochzeitszug im Gebirge [Wedding Procession in the Mountains] 1872, Oil on canvas, 137x170
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1624
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 813, K number: K 56
The “Hochzeitszug im Gebirge” picture by Eduard Young was sold to the Reich Chancellery by the Munich art dealer Xaver Scheidwimmer brokered by Gerdy Troost on 3 July 1939 for RM 12,000.
Gerdy Troost, widow of the architect Ludwig Troost, was a confidant of Adolf Hitler in art matters and frequently brokered purchases for the “Sonderauftrag Linz”. She was thereby in close contact with art dealers in Munich, who presented her with offers time and again. The art dealer Xaver Scheidwimmer was questioned by “Collecting Point” employees regarding the provenance of the Eduard Young picture sold by him. The result of the inquiry was summarised as follows: “Scheidwimmer bought the picture from Mr Max Höher, Munich, Karlstrasse, father of the restorer, Höher, killed in an airstrike. The picture was previously in a North German private collection, which is not more specifically described. Höher had long been in possession of the picture prior to the purchase by Scheidwimmer. According to Scheidwimmer’s testimony, the picture had been in the North German collection for decades.”
If this testimony is correct, in this case the previous history of the picture prior to the sale by the art dealer is known, whereby no indication of any unlawful dispossession or extorted acquisition is present.
Hans Makart (1840 - 1884)
Die Ernte [The Harvest], Oil on canvas, 130x320
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1625
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 3, K number: K 630
Pursuant American identification the picture was sold by the art dealer Haberstock in 1938 for RM 20,250 to the Reich Chancellery.
Karl Haberstock had been Hitler’s most trusted art advisor before Hans Posse was employed as the “Sonderbeauftragter for Linz” [Special envoy for Linz] in 1939. Adolf Hitler made numerous purchases for his collection in the 1930s via the art dealer Haberstock. According to the “Property Card” information, Haberstock had purchased the Hans Makart picture in 1937 from a Franz von Studziinski. American attempts to further clarify the identity of Franz von Studziinski remained unsuccessful.
An inquiry made during the research project in the Augsburg Haberstock Archive in April 2004 resulted in an interesting piece of news: According to the accounting records of Karl Haberstock archived there, there was information that contradicted the above information and showed no purchase of a Makart work in the year 1937, while in May 1938 Haberstock acquired a Makart entitled “Triumph der Schönheit” [Triumph of Beauty] from a Franziska Studzinskiego in Warsaw for 19,000 Zloty (converted RM 8,939.50). In the documents, to which the “Property Card” information relates, the questionable Makart is also entitled “Triumph der Schönheit” [Triumph of Beauty], the dimensions are not stated.
How the American Collecting Point administration was able to conclude with certainty that it thereby related to the work otherwise entitled “Ernte” [Harvest] or “Bacchusfest” [Bacchus’ Feast] is not comprehensible from the present perspective. It appears thoroughly conceivable that it could have been an erroneous identification.
Based on the American identification, the provenance of the picture seems to be a lawful purchase by the art dealer Haberstock. Haberstock paid nearly 9,000 Reichsmark for the picture and sold it on to the Reich Chancellery with a margin of over one hundred percent – not at all unusual for such sales. In this case suspicion of being looted art would be more or less excluded.
Considering the existing uncertainty regarding the classification of the picture, there is still lingering doubt.
Ferdinand von Rayski (1806 - 1890)
Hasenjagd im Winter [Hare Hunt in the Winter], Oil on canvas, 205x153
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1627
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 3030, K number: K 1843
The picture was acquired by “Linz Sonderbeauftragter” Hermann Voss via Galerie Roemer on 21 Sept. 1943 for RM 40,000.
Additional provenance information can be found in the “Dresden catalogue” in the Bundesarchiv [Federal Archive] Koblenz as follows: “Exhibited in 1907 in Dresden, Galerie Arnold no. 81 and Berlin, Galerie Schulte; 1923 Berlin, art dealer Hugo Perls (Sold from the holdings of the Schroeter family); 11.12.1937 Weinmüller auction, Munich Cat. 11, no. 170 (Provider: art dealer Kühl, Dresden); Berlin, Galerie Roemer; 21.9.1943 acquired from there for RM 40,000.”
In the “Property card” of the Collecting Point administration the provenance history deviates from this somewhat further: Here it says that the picture was apparently purchased in 1939 by the art dealer Kühl in Dresden. It also argues for a connection with the art dealer Gurlitt, who apparently appeared as the seller in 1943, whereby Gurlitt in 1951 confirmed the purchase of the picture by Galerie Römer. According to available correspondence, the purchase of the picture in 1943, however, was directly transacted between Galerie Römer and the “Sonderstab Linz”, Gurlitt’s role is not revealed. In an additional note on the “Property Card” it says that Ms Gertrud Römer could not provide further information, due to the loss of her accounting records. It is hence not known from whom the art dealer Römer had directly acquired the picture.
The known facts on the history of the picture refer to no circumstances, according to which the picture could have been the object of an unlawful seizure, however, based on the existing gaps in the provenance, a definitive statement regarding a suspicion of potentially being looted art cannot be made.
Unknown Master, Palma Giovane/Venetian Art, 17th century
Unidentified scene (Feldherr vor einem Dogen) [Commander before a Doge], Venice Early 17th century/Venetian, 17th century, ceremonial scene, 160x220.
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1633
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 2312, K number: 1711
According to information on the “Property Card” of the Collecting Point administration, the picture was acquired from Italian private holdings in 1941, brokered by Prince Philipp von Hessen. The seller is meant to have been a Count Robilant.
Prince Philipp von Hessen, who was married to the daughter of the last Italian king, Princess Mafalda von Savoyen, had excellent contacts among the Italian aristocracy as a result of this connection. He acted as a liaison and broker of art purchases for the “Sonderauftrag Linz” in Italy until he “fell out of favour” with Hitler in the year 1943 and was placed under house arrest in South Tyrol. The available correspondence with Count Robilant documented a sale of nine paintings by Sebastian Ricci, the questionable picture shown here is in any event not found in the documents. Solely a note in the American documents adds: “The Doge Scene by a Venetian Master was purchased on the same day by Prince Philip of Hesse”. In actual fact an invoice in the special account at the German Embassy in Rome in a list of picture purchases finds the entry “9 ceiling paintings by S. Ricci” and “Doge scene, Venetian” as a purchase on the same day (27 June 1941) with the address of origin of the villa of Philipp von Hessen. Apparently it was concluded from this that both items were of the same origin. On the “Property Card” of the picture of the Doge scene Count Robilant is thus stated as the seller of the picture.
Provenance of the picture from Italy through a purchase via Prince Philipp von Hessen is thereby clearly documented. Whether however, Count Andrea Robilant from Venice/Rome can be in fact assumed to be the original owner does not appear to be clearly documented in the available documents. If the American attribution is correct no indication is given of a forced sale or confiscation in the case of the sale by Robilant. If the attribution is not correct then the seller and details about the circumstances of the sale of the picture are not known.
Auguste Galimard (1813 - 1880)
Leda mit dem Schwan [Leda with the Swan], Oil on canvas, 134x202
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1635
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 457, K number: K 634
The picture by Auguste Galimard is one of those paintings from the questionable inventory, for which no purchase documents are available. On the “Property Card” was noted that according to the Thieme-Becker Künstlerlexikon [Artists’ Encyclopaedia] Galimard’s Leda with the Swan had been acquired by Napoleon III in 1855 and it was given to the King of Württemberg.
In actual fact this painting was located in the gallery of Schloss Rosenstein near Stuttgart, the owner of which was the former King Wilhelm II of Württemberg. The art collection of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg was auctioned on 26 and 27 October 1920 in the 77th auction of the art dealer Felix Fleischhauer in Stuttgart. The relevant painting was in the auction catalogue as number 74 and depicted on Panel 29. After this auction the trail was lost. It remains unclear how it came into the possession of the Nazi offices, or it perhaps went to the “Sonderauftrag Linz” staff. Under these circumstances a suspicion of being looted art cannot be excluded.
August Fink, Munich
Winterlandschaft mit Weiden [Winter Landscape with Pasture], Oil on canvas, 134x202
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1636
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 889, K number: K 55
The painting by August Fink along with other paintings was acquired from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung [Bavarian State Painting Collection] brokered by Martin Bormann in the year 1940. According to a letter from Reich Minister Lammer to Martin Bormann, the State Painting Collection was paid RM 5,000 for this.
Even if the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung would have scarcely been able to refuse a sale of the paintings from its inventory desired by Adolf Hitler, in this case, nevertheless, it can be considered as a legal acquisition of the painting. Unlawful provenance is consequently to be excluded.
After becoming acquainted with the provenance of the picture in the course of the present research project, contact was made by the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum with the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung in this regard, which made no claim regarding the picture.
Eduard Schulz-Briesen (1831-1891)
Bauernrauferei im Wirtshaus [Peasant Fight in the Pub], 1879, Oil on canvas, 136.5x218
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1637
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 1140, K number: K 54
The painting was auctioned in Dusseldorf on 2 April 1932 (Julius-Stern art auction house Dusseldorf, 1932, Auction catalogue number 4, Lot no. 214). It has not been possible to date to determine the providers and buyers of this auction.
On 6 November 1940 the painting was acquired by the gallery of Maria Almas Dietrich, Munich, and Heinrich Hoffmann, Munich. This information relates to a listing of all of the purchases by the Almas-Dietrich gallery. No sales documentation are available, and there is just as little information regarding previous owners. The Munich art dealer Maria Almas-Dietrich was in an intensive business relationship with Adolf Hitler, from which she profited quite well financially. As many other German art dealers Maria Dietrich also made numerous art acquisitions between 1938 and 1945 in Vienna, in a statement under oath in 1949 she emphasised the constant voluntary nature of the business transactions concluded in Vienna. An unlawful provenance as to the origin of the pictures acquired via Dietrich can nevertheless not be excluded.
As the purchase of the picture is not verified with documents nor is there anything known about the previous history of the picture, a potential unlawful provenance of the picture cannot hence be excluded, even though there are no indications of this.
Gerard de Lairesse (1641 - 1711)
Anbetung der Könige [Adoration of the Magi], Oil on canvas, 171.7x162
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1638
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 2587, K number: K 1716
During renewed research in the year 2016 regarding the Collecting Point pictures in the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, it was possible to determined that the painting by Gerard de Lairesse was auctioned on 12 May 1931 as number 27 in Rudolph Lepke's art auction house in Berlin. This auction is known as the last, great, so-called “Russian auction”, during which the nationalised, e.g. confiscated, Stroganov (Stroganoff) collection from St. Petersburg was auctioned with lively international participation. The auction was held by the Rudolph Lepke auction house on behalf of the trade representative of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics.
On 21 November 1933 the painting once again came up for auction in the Rudolph Lepke auction house in Berlin (Catalogue number 2069, Lot 24, depiction on Panel 2), this time from the holdings of the S Collection. More in-depth investigations on the S Collection as well as regarding the hitherto unknown buyer, are in progress.
The picture by Gerard de Lairesse was acquired on 11 July 1942 via the art dealer Paul Rusch in Dresden for RM 20,000 for the planned Linz “Führermuseum”. It was allegedly previously privately held in Bremen. An unlawful acquisition cannot be excluded on the basis of the available information.
Otto von Kameke (1826 - 1899)
Landschaft bei Chamonix [Landscape near Chamonix], 1874, Oil on canvas, 137x189
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1639
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 1995, K number: K 115
The picture “Landschaft bei Chamonix” [Landscape near Chamonix] was purchased via Gerdy Troost as was the “Hochzeitszug im Gebirge” picture (see description further above). On 3 January 1942 it was acquired by the art and antiquities dealer Karoline Anny Lang for RM 26,000. The invoice was issued to “Führer und Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler”. For several purchases, which were made via Karoline Lang, there is information regarding their provenance, in all cases the pictures were thereby acquired from private individuals. For the questionable picture there is in any event no information regarding any previous owner. Potential unlawful provenance of the picture cannot consequently be excluded, even though there are no indications of this.
Philipp Peter Roos
Hirte with Herde [Shephard with Flock], Oil on canvas, 142x206
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1644
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 3090, K number: K 1840
The picture was acquired by Hermann Voss, the “Sonderbeauftragter for Linz”, on 6 September 1943 from the Berlin art trade, specifically from the art dealer C. F. Ernst Schmidt, for RM 15,000.
The art dealer Schmidt was in close contact with the “Sonderauftrag Linz”. As many German art dealers he was also frequently in Vienna and time and again acquired paintings at the Dorotheum in Vienna. On Schmidt’s invoice for the Roos picture there is also the indication that the picture originally came from the Schloss Klessheim near Salzburg collection from the possession of Archduke Ludwig Victor. The art collection of Ludwig Victor, the brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, was auctioned at the Dorotheum in Vienna after Ludwig Victor’s death and the sale of Klessheim by his heirs in 1921. It is unknown when and from whom C. F. Ernst Schmidt had acquired the painting. Consequently nothing is known regarding the ownership status of the picture between 1921 and 1943, a potential unlawful provenance of the picture cannot be excluded.
Claes Molenaer (1630 - 1676)
Winterlandschaft [Winter Landscape], Oil on canvas, 141x220
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1645
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 2597, K number: K 1710
The picture was acquired in the framework of the “Sonderauftrag Linz” on 7 October 1942 from the Dutch art trade by the art dealer Bier in Haarlem for hfl 21,000.
Hans Posse was notified about this picture by Erhard Goepel. Goepel acted as the purchasing agent for Posse in the occupied Netherlands and held the title of “Consultant for special issues”. Basically numerous acquisitions were made in Holland for the “Sonderauftrag Linz”, primarily during Hans Posse’s term of office. The “Sonderauftrag” had its own currency account in The Hague. Hans Posse was also in direct contact with the art dealer Bier regarding other offers in 1942.
Information is not known regarding any previous owners in the case of this sale, potential unlawful provenance of the picture cannot consequently be excluded, even though there are no indications of this.
Blick auf das Cintra-Gebirge in Portugal [View of the Sintra Mountains in Portugal], 1860
Oil on canvas, 236x152
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1648 (formerly G 1295)
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 2574, K number: K 1229
As the pictures “Landschaft bei Chamonix” and “Hochzeitszug im Gebirge” (See descriptions further above) Robert Kummer’s “Cintra-Gebirge” was also purchased via Gerdy Troost. It was acquired on 5 January 1943 from the Munich art dealer Arnold, proprietor Ludwig Gutbier.
The purchase via the Galerie Arnold is clearly confirmed by the available documents, in addition in 1951 a label was determined on the reverse of the picture, which read “Galerie Ernst Arnold, Inhaber (Owner) L. W. Gutbier, München Ludwigstr. 17b”.
The situation appears unclear as far as the previous owners are concerned: In a letter from Ludwig Gutbier to Gerdy Troost it emerges that the picture was located in Rhineland on the date of the offer by Gutbier, it was not yet in Gutbier’s possession and Gutbier himself had not yet seen the picture. This deviates from Ms Gutbier’s statement vis-à-vis the “Collecting Point” administration in the year 1951: Ms Gutbier stated that the picture came from the Dresden Galerie Meusel and had been acquired by them before WWI.
There are consequently contradictory indications regarding the ownership chain of the picture prior to the sale by Ludwig Gutbier, a potential unlawful provenance cannot be excluded, even though there are no indications of this.
Carlo Cignani (1628 - 1719)
Das Urteil des Paris [The Judgment of Paris], Oil on canvas, 135x193.5
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1680
NS inventory: Linz number: 2875, K number: K 1543
The picture came from the private collection of Heinrich Scheuffelen, Stuttgart. Together with seven other pictures it was sold on 6 April 1943 for RM 25,000 to the “Sonderbeauftragter for Linz”, Hermann Voss.
Available correspondence relating to the sale refers to a voluntary acquisition. It is not known how long the Cignani picture had been in Scheuffelen’s possession. In any event it appeared in a Scheuffelen exhibition already in 1938.
An unlawful provenance of the picture can thus be largely excluded.
Friedrich Gauermann (1807 - 1862)
Landschaft mit Kühen [Landscape with cows], 1825, Oil on canvas, 132x189
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1682
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 544, K number: K 656
There were no documents of any kind with respect to the acquisition of this picture. In a provenance list of questionable pictures from the Vienna Bundesdenkmalamt’s [Austrian Federal Monuments Office] in the 1950s it was solely noted regarding this picture: “Acquired 1938”.
The provenance of the painting was clarified in 2009: As verified, the large format painting was from the holdings of the Viennese art dealer Else Gall, who emigrated to the USA in 1939. Her remaining art holdings in Vienna were confiscated, after 1945 only parts of the collection could be found and restitution made. Else Gall died in the 1960s. The search for heirs by the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien [Israelite Cultural Community of Vienna] has not yet been concluded.
Ludwig Hofelich (1842 - 1905)
Landschaft bei Bernried am Wurmsee [Landscape near Bernried am Wurmsee], Oil on canvas, 260x176
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1628
NS inventory: “Linz number”: 712, K number: K 655
No purchase documents of any kind could be found for this picture either. In a Bundesdenkmalamt provenance list solely 1938 is cited as the year of acquisition - as in the case of the painting by Gauermann represented above.
No other information of any kind could be determined, therefore a suspicion of being looted art cannot be excluded.
Philipp Otto Roos’ successor/unknown painter/Dutch, 18th Century (1655 - 1705)
Reitender Schäferknabe [Shephard Boy on Horseback], Oil on canvas, 268x325 or Hirtenjunge mit Pferd and Schafherde [Shephard Boy with Horse and Herd of Sheep]
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1683
NS inventory: unknown
No documents of any kind could be found regarding this picture. A review of the “Dresden catalogue” showed that it included a picture, which could match the relevant picture in terms of subject matter and size, namely Tierstück [Animal Piece] by Henry de Roos, 263:320. This picture was sold for 38,500 RM on 29 July 1943 by the art dealer Plober to the consultant for the “Sonderauftrag Linz”, brokered by the art dealer Kurt Köster.
It could not be verified with certainty, however, whether this picture in fact relates to the questionable picture in the OÖLM holdings.
There is consequently a lack of reliable information regarding this picture’s provenance, hence a suspicion of being looted art cannot be excluded.
Melchior d`Hondecoeter (attributed)
Knabe im Hühnerhof [Boy in the Chicken Yard], Oil on canvas, 189x249/Dutch, 17th century,
Geflügelszene [Poultry Scene], 190x250
Landesmuseum inventory number: G 1681
NS inventory: unknown
The provenance for this picture was ultimately completely clarified. Restitution was made in the year 2003.
The picture was purchased by the businessman Julius Neumann in Vienna in 1910 from the collection of Baron Tucher. In 1942 it was brought to the Dorotheum in Vienna by the “VUGESTA” (Verwaltungsstelle für jüdisches Umzugsgut [Office for the Disposal of the Property of Jewish Emigrants]) as “confiscated household goods” from the possession of the Neumann family and purchased by a Viennese art dealer named Löscher. He in turn sold it to a German art dealer. This must have been C. F. Ernst Schmidt, who offered the picture to the Sonderbeauftragter for Linz on 26 February 1944 for RM 180,000 (!). The sale was confirmed on 16 March 1944.
It was stored along with other paintings in a repository in Goisern in 1944/45, taken over by the Americans and in the 1950s transferred to the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum for storage.
The painting was in severely damaged condition and was laboriously restored prior to restitution. It shows a terrified boy in a chicken yard invaded by birds of prey. The daughter and granddaughter of the meanwhile 92-year old owner travelled from the USA to Linz to view and have the picture returned. For the owner the handover of the painting by State Governor Dr Josef Pühringer signified the recovery of an important object from their family’s once great art collection after decades.
During the course of its restitution the art history classification of the picture proved interesting: The painting, from which meanwhile four additional, largely identical versions could be identified, had been to date generally attributed to Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636-1695), while the figure of the boy was considered undisputedly the work of Jacob Jordaen (1593-1678). Hondecoeter was a member of a Dutch family of painters of Flemish origin and created primarily images of birds and particularly chickens, while Jordaen was a member of Peter Paul Rubens’ circle. As painters at the time were highly specialised, this kind of collaboration by several artists on one picture was entirely common. The invasion of birds of prey into a peaceful chicken yard was one of Hondecoeter’s favourite themes, providing the opportunity for particularly dramatic, Baroque “stagings”. The recently completed restoration now makes it possible to recognise the very high quality of the picture, which is a fine example of work from d’Hondecoeter’s best era around 1670.
Christus vor Pilatus [Christ before Pilate] Monotype, signed and dated 1922, 29.7x41.3
Landesmuseum inventory number: KS 4515
Recorded in the graphic arts collection register with the sequential number 4/1939 on 19 April 1939 and annotated: “entrusted to the Gestapo”.
It can be assumed that the page belonged to an art collection confiscated in Linz or Upper Austria. Mainly confiscated works from the Walter Schwarz collection were brought into the Landesmuseum, the provenance of which, however, had in each case been noted in the protocol. In the case of this entry there is no reference to the provenance.
Mutter and Kind [Mother and Child], Monotype, signed and dated 1922, 59.5x47.5
Landesmuseum inventory number: KS 4516
Recorded in the graphic arts collection register with the sequential number 5/1939 on 19 April 1939 and annotated: “entrusted to the Gestapo”.
The same assumptions apply to the provenance of this page as for Picture 18 described above.
People, who know something about the history of the specified pictures, are requested to contact us with their information to thus contribute to the additional complete clarification of the history of the pictures.
Dr Gerda Ridler
T +43 (0)732 7720 522 23
Specific investigation into the Kastner collection began in 2009. The extensive private collection, which is important from an art history perspective, was acquired by the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum as a donation from the Viennese lawyer Dr Walther Kastner.
Kastner’s role during the Nazi era, when he was involved in the system of “Aryanisation” as the director of the Kontrollbank, necessitate in the current perspective a precise examination of the inventory. Based on the current level of information, specific suspicions with respect to confiscated objects are not present, nearly all of the objects were not acquired by Walther Kastner until after 1945. As is also the case, however, in auction acquisitions after 1945, provenances from confiscated holdings cannot be fundamentally excluded, investigations are also being carried out for these objects.
Project staff: MMag. Gregor Derntl, Mag. Manuel Heinl, Dr Birgit Kirchmayr
KASTNER COLLECTION PORTFOLIO – INTERMEDIATE REPORT
YOUR HELP IN CLARIFYING THE HISTORY OF THE PAINTINGS
People, who know something about the history of the specified pictures, are requested to contact us with their information to thus contribute to the additional complete clarification of the history of the pictures.
INFORMATION REQUESTED BY
Dr Gerda Ridler
T +43 (0)732 7720 522 23