Bomann-Museum Celle restitutes Dutch painting "Wooded Landscape"
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.