A qui appartenaient ces tableaux ?
Isabelle Le Masne de Chermont and Laurence Sigal-Klagsbald,
On the cover we see an accumulation of paintings against a wall: works that are maybe by Van Gogh, Corot, Manet? Taken from the Rothschilds, from Jacques Seligmann or from Paul Rosenberg, Picasso’s dealer? This bilingual book – obviously the interest it represents goes beyond the French boundaries– tries to synthesize the French policy regarding the return of works of art robbed during WW II. From the action carried out by the sinister ERR (Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg), in charge of organizing the seizures in the countries dominated by the Reich – between April 1941 and July 1944, it sent from France to Germany 138 train wagons containing over 22 000 lots – to the long identification process of the legitimate owners (that became dormant between 1960 and the middle of the 1990s), the matter is indeed not over. Not all the paintings have found their owners. Following a rather dense historic introduction, a second part of the book presents the itinerary of some of those works of art called the MNR (Musées nationaux Récupération –National museums of recovered works of art), from the Portrait of Antonin Proust by Edouard Manet to the Baigneuses by Courbet. Until 28 September, they can be seen at the Jewish museum of art and history –Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme.
• A qui appartenaient ces tableaux ? (Who did these paintings belong to?) by Isabelle Le Masne de Chermont and Laurence Sigal-Klagsbald, RMN, 2008, ISBN : 978-2-7118-5543-8, 226 p., 39 €
Review published in the newsletter #100 - from 11 September 2008 to 17 September 2008