Website of the German Lost Art Foundation

Bomann-Museum Celle restitutes Dutch painting "Wooded Landscape"

Date 2018.08.14

Some 77 years af­ter the paint­ing “Wood­ed Land­scape” was seized by the Nazis, the Bo­mann-Mu­se­um Celle has re­turned the work from the col­lec­tion of Al­fons and Hed­wig Jaf­fé to the de­scen­dants of the Jew­ish cou­ple. The paint­ing was hand­ed over at the Lon­don premis­es of the Com­mis­sion for Loot­ed Art in Eu­rope, which has rep­re­sent­ed the in­ter­ests of the fam­i­ly for many years.

The 17th-cen­tu­ry work by An­thonie Wa­ter­loo was on­ly dis­cov­ered and its prove­nance clar­i­fied af­ter proac­tive re­search in­to the mu­se­um’s col­lec­tion by Christo­pher Galler, re­search as­sis­tant at the Bo­mann-Mu­se­um Celle. The mu­se­um’s re­search project be­gan in 2016 and is be­ing fund­ed by the Ger­man Lost Art Foun­da­tion. Up to 1940, “Wood­ed Land­scape” was part of an im­por­tant col­lec­tion of Old Mas­ters paint­ings amassed by col­lec­tors Al­fons and Hed­wig Jaf­fé be­tween 1900 and 1935. As Nazi re­pres­sion of Jew­ish cit­i­zens wors­ened, the cou­ple, who came from pres­ti­gious bour­geois back­grounds, left Ger­many in 1939 and em­i­grat­ed to the UK. The col­lec­tion was brought to the Nether­lands at great fi­nan­cial ex­pense and giv­en on loan to the city mu­se­um in Lei­den. When Ger­man troops oc­cu­pied the Nether­lands in 1940, the col­lec­tion was con­fis­cat­ed by the Nazis. Via the Di­en­st­stelle Mühlmann, the paint­ing came in­to the pos­ses­sion of of­fi­cial NS­DAP pho­tog­ra­pher Hein­rich Hoff­mann and from there was sold to the Hans W. Lange auc­tion house. It was bought there at auc­tion by Celle mu­se­um di­rec­tor Al­bert Neukirch. On the ba­sis of the defini­tive find­ings of Galler’s prove­nance re­search, the Celle city au­thor­i­ties de­cid­ed to resti­tute the paint­ing to the de­scen­dants of Al­fons and Hed­wig Jaf­fé.
Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the re­turn of the art­work can be found on the web­site of the Bo­mann-Mu­se­um Celle.

Simon de Vlieger oder Anthonie Waterloo, Waldlandschaft, um 1650, Öl auf Holz, 35 x 48 cm, Bomann-Museum Celle Simon de Vlieger oder Anthonie Waterloo, Waldlandschaft, um 1650, Öl auf Holz, 35 x 48 cm, Bomann-Museum Celle