Jewish Museum Berlin returns artwork from the Mosse collection
The Jewish Museum Berlin has returned Anton von Werner’s oil sketch “Das Gastmahl der Familie Mosse” (The Mosse Family Banquet), dating from 1899, to the heirs of Felicia Lachmann-Mosse. This restitution has been made following systematic checking of the painting and sculpture collection for cultural assets that were seized through Nazi persecution. The German Lost Art Foundation in Magdeburg has been funding this research work since April 2015.
Felicia Lachmann-Mosse was the daughter of Jewish newspaper publisher and art collector Rudolf Mosse (1843–1920). At the beginning of 1899, Rudolf Mosse commissioned Anton von Werner, an artist and the director of the Prussian Academy of Arts, to create a large-scale painting of his family members and friends in a convivial setting. Von Werner handed over the painting to Mosse in December 1899 along with all the preparatory sketches. The small oil sketch “Das Gastmahl der Familie Mosse” was hung in the first floor stairway of Mosse’s palatial mansion on Leipziger Platz, where it seems to have remained until at least summer 1933. It was confiscated from the Lachmann-Mosse family in 1934.