News Watercolor stolen by Nazis rediscovered at auction in Munich

Watercolor stolen by Nazis rediscovered at auction in Munich

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Lost since National Socialism and now back in Halle: "Study on a Tree Trunk" by Christian Rohlfs (left) and "Marienkirche Halle I" by Lyonel Feininger.
Picture: dpa

A watercolor by the expressionist Christian Rohlfs was confiscated in 1937 in Halle as "degenerate". Now it has reappeared at auction, as before a drawing Lyonel Feininger. Both are back in the museum.

DThe Kunstmuseum Moritzburg in Halle is going back to two works lost since National Socialism. The works of the Expressionist Christian Rohlfs and the graphic designer Lyonel Feininger had been confiscated by the Nazis in 1937 as "degenerate art", the Kulturstiftung Sachsen-Anhalt announced on Wednesday. The museum spoke of a "rare stroke of luck" that the works now returned to the house again. Rohlf's "Study on a Tree Trunk" had been confiscated in 1937 in the course of the action "Degenerate Art" from the Municipal Museum of Arts and Crafts in Halle. Experts from the auction house Ketterer Kunst in Munich discovered the origin of the painting through an original stamp of the museum in Halle on the back and did not auction it as planned. The house finally mediated between the owners and the museum.

According to art historians Rohlfs (1849-1938) painted the watercolor around 1911 during his stay in Bavaria. In 1914, the museum in Halle acquired the study with three other watercolors, two of which are still missing.

Two Rohlfs watercolors remain missing

After being confiscated by the National Socialists, the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, according to Ketterer, acquired the "tree trunk" study in 1940 against foreign exchange from the authorities. Subsequently, the track of the work has lost. It was considered lost. The watercolor has been part of a traditional private collection over the last decades. For the purchase price, the Foundation made no statement, the auction house spoke
from a "fair price" that has not exhausted the museum's limited budget.

The charcoal drawing "Marienkirche Halle I" by Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) from 1929 could already be bought on Saturday in Cologne and was also considered lost today. According to the information, 17 out of 147 stolen works are now in the possession of the museum. Both can be seen in the museum until 12th January as part of a Bauhaus exhibition.

. (tagsToTranslate) Christian Rohlfs (t) Art Found (t) Watercolor (t) Auction (s) Munich

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