Van Dyck Portrait Returned to Jewish Dealer’s Heir
The painting was once acquired by Hermann Göring.
German food processing giant Dr. Oetker announced the restitution of a Nazi-looted van Dyck portrait to the heir of the notable Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker.
The return of Portrait of Adriaen Moens (1628) comes after the company amicably resolved a claim submitted by the dealer and collector’s sole heir, Marei von Saher.
“It is encouraging to see private collections like the Oetker collection do the right thing for victims of the Nazis and their families,” von Saher said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Kunstsammlung Oetker for returning this painting to Jacques Goudstikker’s family. I hope that the restitution of this artwork will lead other private collections to act just as responsibly when faced with the discovery in their collections of art unlawfully dispossessed by the Nazis.”
Goudstikker’s collection was regarded as one of the most important collections of 15th to 19th century Dutch Old Masters paintings. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in 1940, he was forced to flee with his family. Goudstikker, however, didn’t survive his escape; he was fatally injured aboard the ship taking him to exile.
According to Monopol the dealer’s staff sold all of his possessions, including his collection of over 1000 artworks, for far less than market value; on this basis, the van Dyck portrait was later acquired by Hermann Göring.
After World War II much of Goudstikker’s collection ended up with the Dutch state, which deaccessioned the van Dyck portrait to a London-based Old Masters dealer from whom Rudolf-August Oetker bought the painting in good faith in 1956. The work was transferred to the Dr. Oetker corporate collection in 1998.
The painting is one of four suspicious works identified in the Dr. Oetker collection by an internally appointed auditor. It’s the second work to be restituted following the return of a Hans Thoma painting two weeks ago.
Dr. Oetker is one of Germany’s largest privately owned companies, employing over 30,000 people and generating an annual turnover of over €12 billion.
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