Dresden recovers four missing pictures

The paintings have been missing since 1945


The Dresden Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister has recovered four paintings missing since 1945. The wing of an altarpiece by the Meister von Frankfurt (now thought to be the Antwerp painter, Heyndrick van Weluwe,) depicting St Andrew with a donor turned up in the June catalogue of Neumeister auctions in Munich, where it was immediately withdrawn. Negotiations with the consignor, a German dealer, were concluded in September. This wing, with its companion depicting St Elizabeth (the centre panel is long missing) were already in the Dresden Kunstkammer by 1698.

“A loving couple in a farm room” of 1648 by Egbert van der Poel was one of the more than 700 paintings published in Hans Ebert’s 1963 catalogue of war losses from the two Dresden Gemäldegalerie. The Van der Poel was among the pictures taken officially as war booty to the USSR after 1945, but it returned “unofficially” and was in North Germany by 1963, where it was sold on by an originally Russian-speaking family. In 1996 it surfaced in the estate of a private collector, a Dutch museum scholar having been asked for advice on it. He immediately informed the Dresden gallery, which contacted the heir, in the US. She returned the picture for minimal compensation.

Two paintings by Lucas Cranach the Older, an Ecce Homo and Trinity, disappeared from Schloss Schieritz near Zehren where they had been taken for safekeeping in March 1945. These also reappeared in September, in undisclosed circumstances.


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