Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Cologne restitutes Menzel drawing – research work funded by the German Lost Art Foundation

Date 2016.10.04

Wall­raf-Richartz-Mu­se­um & Fon­da­tion Cor­boud has re­port­ed a suc­cess in its prove­nance re­search project fi­nanced by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion. At its meet­ing of Septem­ber 22, 2016, Cologne City Coun­cil agreed that the draw­ing “Blick über die Däch­er von Schan­dau” (View over the Roofs of Schan­dau) by Adolph von Men­zel (1815–1905), held by the Wall­raf-Richartz-Mu­se­um, should be re­turned to the heirs of Elis­a­beth Lin­da Martens. The draw­ing has been iden­ti­fied as Nazi-con­fis­cat­ed prop­er­ty. This resti­tu­tion is the re­sult of sys­tem­at­ic re­search work that has been fi­nan­cial­ly sup­port­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion in Magde­burg since 2013.

“This once again shows how im­por­tant it is to ac­tive­ly pur­sue prove­nance re­search, trace the heirs of dis­placed Jew­ish cit­i­zens and joint­ly seek fair and just so­lu­tions in line with the Wash­ing­ton Con­fer­ence Prin­ci­ples,” said Uwe Hart­mann, head of the Prove­nance Re­search De­part­ment at the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion and pre­vi­ous head of the for­mer Bu­reau for Prove­nance Re­search, which was in­te­grat­ed in­to the Foun­da­tion in 2015.

A vic­tim of the Na­tion­al So­cial­ist regime, Elis­a­beth Lin­da Martens was forced to sell the draw­ing in De­cem­ber 1938. She sold the art­work on De­cem­ber 31, 1938, to Hilde­brand Gurlitt, pre­sum­ably to fi­nance her es­cape and em­i­gra­tion to the US. In 1939, Gurlitt gave the draw­ing to Ga­lerie Ger­sten­berg­er (Chem­nitz) on a com­mis­sion ba­sis, where it was ac­quired by the Wall­raf-Richartz-Mu­se­um in the same year.

Project de­scrip­tion (on­ly Ger­man ver­sion)

Zeichnung Zeichnung "Blick über die Dächer von Schandau" von Adolph von Menzel Zeichnung "Blick über die Dächer von Schandau" von Adolph von Menzel Source:  Stadt Köln