WWII Provenance of Houston Bellotto Questioned

July 22 2021

Image of WWII Provenance of Houston Bellotto Questioned

Picture: markets.businessinsider.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Claims by the the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, into the wartime provenance of Bellotto's The Market Place at Pirna (pictured), have appeared in the press this week.

The foundation claims that the work in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, part of the Kress Foundation, should be restituted to the heirs of Dr Max J Emden. In particular, the foundation has accused the museum of not being transparent with the work's provenance, which they claim was purchased from Emden by the dealer Karl Haberstock for Hitler's Führermuseum.

The museum has previously refuted claims that the work was in Emden's collection, claiming there was no physical evidence to suggest this provenance was correct alongside citing multiple versions of the scene. The foundation have pointed to a painting inventory mark (featured at the bottom right of the image) as new evidence to suggest otherwise.

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