The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, August 17, 2022


France to return Klimt painting to rightful heirs after Nazi-era sale
Roselyne Bachelot, France’s Culture Minister, at an event to announce the restitution of Gustav Klimt’s “Rosebushes Under the Trees,” in Paris on Monday.

by Aurelien Breeden



PARIS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- France will return the only painting by Gustav Klimt in its national collection to the heirs of Nora Stiasny, a Jewish woman who sold it under duress after the Nazis annexed Austria, France’s Culture minister announced Monday.

The minister, Roselyne Bachelot, said it was difficult but necessary for France to part with Klimt’s “Rosebushes Under the Trees,” which she called a “masterpiece.”

“It is the completion of an act of justice,” Bachelot said at a news conference in Paris, standing beside the early-20th-century painting, a lush, green canvas dotted with specks of floral color.

“Rosebushes Under the Trees,” which currently resides at the Musée d’Orsay in the city, was not part of the special inventory of looted artworks returned from Germany to France after World War II ended. Unlike those artworks, which are not fully part of France’s national collections, the Klimt painting, which was bought in 1980, is legally considered the country’s “inalienable” property.

That means Parliament will have to pass a bill authorizing the restitution, which Bachelot said would be done as soon as possible.

Alfred Noll, an Austrian lawyer representing Stiasny’s heirs, said at the news conference that the family was “very satisfied and very grateful.”

Stiasny was born in 1898 to a Jewish family in Vienna. The painting was passed on to her from her uncle, Viktor Zuckerkandl, a wealthy steel magnate and art collector who had bought “Rosebushes Under the Trees” in 1911.

But after the Nazis annexed Austria, she was forced to sell it in 1938 “for next to nothing” to survive, Bachelot said. Stiasny was deported to Poland in 1942 and died that year, as did her husband and son.

Ruth Pleyer, an Austrian art expert who researched the painting’s provenance and advised Stiasny’s heirs, said at the news conference that for the family, the restitution was “the equivalent of a miracle.”

Stiasny had been driven out of her home and most of her personal effects were thrown away after her deportation, Pleyer said, leaving few traces.

The man who bought the painting in 1938, a Nazi sympathizer and “so-called friend” who “instigated” the sale, according to Bachelot, kept it until his death in 1960. The French state bought it from an art gallery in 1980 as officials were building up the country’s collection of modern art in the years leading up to the opening of the Musée d’Orsay.

France inquired about the painting’s origins at the time but found no evidence it had been sold under duress, officials stressed Monday.

“All the necessary verifications had been carried out,” Bachelot said, adding that it was only in recent years that French and Austrian researchers and historians had been able to retrace the painting’s full journey, a process that was “particularly arduous because of the destruction of most proof and the erosion of family memories,” she added.

Laurence des Cars, the Musée d’Orsay’s director, said at the event Monday that the Austrian ambassador to France first informed the French authorities in July 2018 that the painting had been sold under duress, according to newly discovered documents. Des Cars said that the French authorities immediately started investigating the matter.

In 2019, a new task force was given a broader mandate to search for and return artwork that had been looted or sold under duress during the Nazi occupation, after years of criticism that French efforts had not been proactive enough. Bachelot noted, for instance, that the Louvre was currently reviewing all acquisitions it made between 1933 and 1945.

In 2017 Austria returned another, similar Klimt painting, “Apple Tree II,” to Stiasny’s heirs, but the Austrian authorities later concluded that the restitution had been a mistake. Experts ultimately determined that it was “Rosebushes Under the Trees” — not “Apple Tree II” — that should be returned to Stiasny’s heirs.

© 2021 The New York Times Company










Today's News

March 16, 2021

France to return Klimt painting to rightful heirs after Nazi-era sale

The Met Opera's musicians, unpaid since April, are struggling

Online sales save art market: report

Meadows Museum celebrates the 20th anniversary of its 66,000-square-foot building

Banksy's cheeky parody of Demi Moore's iconic Vanity Fair cover to make auction debut

The MCA and Tate announce new acquisitions

LACMA will reopen its galleries to the public on April 1

British Museum announces Lampedusa Cross to tour UK for the first time on 10th anniversary of Syrian Revolution

Two breathtaking bracelets take centre stage in Sotheby's Hong Kong Jewellery Auction

Exhibition of mixed media paintings by Vivian Suter opens at Gladstone Gallery

Toledo Museum of Art adds works of art to its collection

Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Week totals $98,323,250

Amplifier launches #Vaccinated, global public art campaign to spread accurate COVID-19 vaccine information

The David Roche Foundation opens 'Captain Cook & the Art of Memorabilia'

National Building Museum announces Aileen Fuchs as new Executive Director

Furniture by George Nakashima headlines Ahlers & Ogletree auction

Pace Gallery opens an exhibition that brings together 45 photographs by David Goldblatt

Bonhams appoints Leslie Wright as Chairman North America

'Mank' leads Oscars nominations in record year for women

Music world taps 'NFT' digital goldrush

Hong Kong protest film screening pulled after media attacks

Carmel Quinn, Irish singer and storyteller, dies at 95

Flory Jagoda, keeper of Sephardic music tradition, dies at 97

Ralph Ellison-inspired exhibition examines violent histories in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and America

Change Up Your Living Space with Wall Art

Drugs make your life rough

Relationship/Marital Crises of Donald Trump and Melania Trump




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful