Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Three items lost during wartime are returned to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden

Date 2017.08.28

The Gemälde­ga­lerie Alte Meis­ter (Old Mas­ters Pic­ture Gallery) in Dres­den has re­ceived back an­oth­er three works of art that have been miss­ing since 1945. The paint­ings from the 16th and 17th cen­turies turned up on the in­ter­na­tion­al art mar­ket in 2016. Af­ter they were con­signed to auc­tion hous­es, the paint­ings were ex­am­ined by ex­perts from the Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Dres­den (SKD) work­ing in co­op­er­a­tion with the auc­tion hous­es Sothe­by’s and Christie’s, and were iden­ti­fied as items lost in Dres­den dur­ing wartime. The one por­trait and two land­scape paint­ings had been tak­en away for safe­keep­ing at the end of the Sec­ond World War along with oth­er mu­se­um hold­ings and had then dis­ap­peared. It is not known as yet where the paint­ings were kept dur­ing the past decades up to when they were re­dis­cov­ered.

Ac­cord­ing to gallery di­rec­tor Stephan Ko­ja, it was pos­si­ble to reach am­i­ca­ble set­tle­ments with the own­ers who con­signed the works.

The three paint­ings were reg­is­tered as miss­ing in the Lost Art Database op­er­at­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.

“The safe re­turn home of these three paint­ings is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of how prove­nance re­search can al­so help mu­se­ums re­gain works of art. It al­so demon­strates how im­por­tant databas­es such as are,” said Gilbert Lupfer, head of the Re­search and Sci­en­tif­ic Co­op­er­a­tion de­part­ment at the SKD and aca­dem­ic di­rec­tor of the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion.

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August Querfurt, Reiterrast vor einer Hütte in Ruinen Öl auf Kupfer, 32 x 42,5 cm August Querfurt, Reiterrast vor einer Hütte in Ruinen