The great-grandson of Jules Strauss, a Jewish art collector who lost ownership to the Nazis in Paris during World War II, must sell his paintings recovered from a German museum earlier this year.
Pauline Vale De Perignon traced the 18th-century French masterpiece by Nicoladral Guilliere to the Dresden State Art Collection, unearthing evidence of an archive proving that Strauss was forced to sell it. But now she has to sell it. Because 20 heirs have the right to share it.
On January 27, Sotheby’s New York will auction “Portrait of a Lady as Pomona”, painted between 1710 and 1714, when Larguilier was at the height of his power. It is estimated to get about 1 million pounds.
The French-born artist moved to England in 1675, where he collaborated with Sir Peter Lely. His portraits are in some of the world’s most important public collections, including the National Gallery in London.
The sale was particularly painful when Mrs. Baer de Perignon briefly reunited with this unusual concrete connection with her great-grandfather in the telegram. It ended with the recovery of the picture. “
By tracking it and learning about Strauss’s wartime plight, she began writing a book entitled “The Disappearing Collection.” This book will be published by Zeus’s head in the United Kingdom in February.
It was difficult to investigate because she knew almost nothing about him or his collection. The family thought he had sold. It was in 2014 that her interest was stimulated by a relative’s suggestion that the Nazis “stolen” it.
A Frankfurt-born banker, Strauss spent his adulthood in France creating a wonderful collection of ancient relics and impressionists that were stolen or forcibly sold by the Nazis. His Parisian home was also recruited, but he somehow avoided deportation before he died unhealthy in 1943.
His great-granddaughter discovered that a portrait of Largue Lier was acquired for Reichsbank Berlin in 1941, transferred to the Treasury, and finally to Dresden in 1959.
In her book, she details her detective work, searching archives, and creating documentation. Nazis … Even before the invasion of France, the Germans made a list of the major French collections. “
She found the word “Collection Jules Strauss” next to the list of Larguerières of the German Lost Art Foundation and went to Dresden, but realized that the museum director was “not keen to return” it. I’m writing about “total surprise”. : “His question remains in my memory …” Perhaps Herr Strauss was happy to sell his paintings at a decent price? He said … cynical remarks reminded me of the early scenes of Joseph Losey’s 1976 movie Mush Klein. There, Alain.
“It’s easy to buy from someone who has no choice but to sell,” one of his customers told Klein. “I have no obligation to buy from you,” the dealer categorically replies. I calmly reminded the museum director that the October 1940 anti-Jewish law blocked bank accounts and undertook an aryanized business. “
She then added that “a tense and difficult discussion” and “it took four years to get it back.”
Dresden finally agreed that this was a compulsory sale and returned the portrait from the Old Masters Picture Gallery in January.
Sotheby’s described the painting as the Tour de Force, which demonstrates the artist’s unparalleled ability to capture prominent members of Parisian society with elegance and beauty.
The sitter is believed to be Marie Madeleine de la Beauville, Philip II’s mistress, Duc Dorlean, and Marquis Parabert during the regency of France. Largillière often portrays his customers as allegorical figures, and she is portrayed as Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and abundance.
Carbine Harvey, a specialist in the Old Master division of Sotheby’s in New York, said: And sadly, tell me some of the fraudulent stories that happened to him. “
The Dresden State Art Collection states: “Investigation of this complex case was conducted extensively and thoroughly as necessary to ensure that the work of art was returned to its legitimate owner.”