:host { --enviso-primary-color: #00BAFF; --enviso-secondary-color: #00BAFF; font-family: 'boijmans-font', Arial, Helvetica,sans-serif; } .enviso-basket-button-wrapper { position: relative; top: 5px; } .enviso-btn { font-size: 22px; } .enviso-basket-button-items-amount { font-size: 12px; line-height: 1; background: #F18700; color: white; border-radius: 50%; width: 24px; height: 24px; min-width: 0; display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center; text-align: center; font-weight: bold; padding: 0; top: -13px; right: -12px; } Previous Next Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest Back to top

Works with a suspicious provenance

This page features works from the collection with a potentially problematic provenance.

The museum hopes that by making the provenance record of these works public, new information may come to light. 

Works with a potentially problematic provenance:

  • Pieter Aertsen, After the harvest (2018)
  • Eleven maiolica dishes from the collection of Eugen Gutmann (2017) 
  • Seven maiolica objects from the former Pringsheim collection (2008) 
  • Honoré Daumier, The Painting-Lovers (2017) 
  • Honoré Daumier, The Free Pardon (2017) 
  • Honoré Daumier, Street Scene (2017) 
  • Anonymous, follower of Anthonie van Dyck, A Bishop Kneeling Before Saint Peter (2017) 
  • Hans Memling, The Lamentation of Christ (2013) 
  • Master of the Magdalen Legend, The Virgin with the Infant Child Holding an Apple (2013)

After the harvest by Pieter Aertsen

‘After the harvest’ by Pieter Aertsen was acquired by D.G. van Beuningen from the art dealer Lambert Jageneau in 1939. Correspondence shows that Jageneau inquired about the previous owners in Vienna with a person who remains unknown to date. It seems that the painting had previously been in the possession of a ‘Dr. Bruno Berall’ or ‘Dr. Bruno Beroll’.  

Further research shows that a lawyer Dr. Bruno Beral (1888-1961) lived with his wife and daughter in Vienna. By law Beral was considered Jewish, and he left Vienna with his family in 1938. Via England they eventually settled in Australia, but their assets in Vienna were confiscated and sold in 1941. The Beral family attempted to retrieve their assets after the war, but it is unknown if these assets included an art collection. It is not clear if the ‘Dr. Bruno Berall’ or ‘Dr. Bruno Beroll’ identified by Jageneau as the previous owner of the painting is the same person as the Dr. Bruno Beral who fled Vienna in 1938.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

After the Harvest, Pieter Aertsen, 1567-1569, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958
After the Harvest, Pieter Aertsen, 1567-1569, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958

Eleven maiolica dishes from the collection of Eugen Gutmann

Since 1968, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection has included  eleven maiolica objects (first as a loan, since 1994 as a donation) that were previously in the collection of the German-Jewish banker Eugen Gutmann (1840-1925). After his death, the collection remained undivided and was held in joint ownership by his six children, including his son F.B.E. (Fritz) Gutmann, who managed the collection. Fritz Gutmann (who was granted Dutch nationality in 1924) resided with his family at the estate Huize Bosbeek near Heemstede, where he also amassed a sizeable art collection of his own. It is not known if these eleven objects were the property of the Gutmann heirs or of Fritz Gutmann or when and how they changed hands. In 1941 and 1942 Fritz Gutmann sold objects from the collection of Eugen Gutmann as well as his own collection to various German dealers, among them Karl Haberstock and Julius Böhler, in order to finance his and his wife’s escape from the Netherlands. In 1943 Fritz Gutmann and his wife were arrested by the Nazis; they died in a concentration camp.

It is not known if these eleven maiolica objects were the property of the Gutmann heirs or of Fritz Gutmann, and when and how they changed hands. Extensive provenance research has not brought forth a definite answer as to who owned these pieces during the crucial period of 1933-1945. From 1955 seven, and presumably all dishes, were in the possession of Mr. J.W. Frederiks (1889-1962). It is not know where and when Frederiks acquired the objects.The eleven maiolica objects were donated to the museum in 1994 as part of the collection of Mr J.W. Frederiks (1889-1962).

In October 2017 the eleven maiolica dishes are submitted at the Restitution Committee for a binding opinion.

Two of the eleven dishes from the Eugen Gutmann Collection
Two of the eleven dishes from the Eugen Gutmann Collection

Seven maiolica objects from the former Pringsheim collection

In 2008 the Stichting tot Beheer Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation received a letter written on behalf of the heirs of the German collector Prof. Dr Alfred Pringsheim (1850-1941), the owner of a celebrated collection of Italian maiolica, from which seven pieces were acquired by the collector J.N. Bastert in 1941 and that are now in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The heirs asked the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation, which was the owner of the objects, to return them. The museum responded by proposing that the question be jointly submitted for a binding opinion  to the Advisory Committee on the Assessment for Items of Cultural Value and the Second World War (the Restitutions Committee). The museum is currently awaiting the heirs’ reply.

The Jewish collector Alfred Pringsheim was a highly respected professor of mathematics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. His collection of maiolica and silver and gilded objects earned international renown. In 1933, he and his wife Hedwig were forced to sell the ‘palace’ they had built on the Narcisstraße to the Nazi Deutscher Arbeitersverein. Because the collection constituted a considerable portion of his capital, Pringsheim attempted to sell it. From 1936 this became impossible: the maiolica collection was placed on the national heritage list, which prohibited its export.

The Pringsheims’ passports were seized in 1937, preventing them from fleeing Germany, and on 21 November 1938, much of their collection was confiscated by the Gestapo. The couple was finally granted permission to auction the collection abroad, provided various pieces and two silver beakers by Ludwig Krug were ‘donated’ to the state. The sale took place in June and July 1939 at Sotheby’s in London. A large portion of the disappointing proceeds had to be paid to the German state, with Alfred and Hedwig Pringsheim using the remainder to immigrate to Switzerland, where they died in exile. After the Second World War, the proceeds of the auction were repaid in full and the objects confiscated by the Nazis (precious metal and other objects) were returned to the Pringsheims’ heirs.

These seven maiolica objects entered the museum’s collection through the purchase of the collection of Jaap Bastert (1891-1876) and Iet van Schaardenburg (1894-1985). The couple had acquired the pieces in 1939 via Hein Hamer at the auction of the Pringsheims’ collection in London.

These objects are also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

An albarello from the former Pringsheim collection
An albarello from the former Pringsheim collection
An apothecary jar from the former Pringsheim collection
An apothecary jar from the former Pringsheim collection

'The Painting-Lovers' by Honoré Daumier

This painting was sold to D.G. van Beuningen together with ‘The Free Pardon’ by the art dealer Jacques Goudstikker in April 1939. It entered the museum with the purchase art collection from the estate of D.G. van Beuningen in 1958. It is not known when and from whom Goudstikker purchased this painting. In any case, ‘The Painting-Lovers’ seems to have been in the possession of the German Jewish banker and art collector Jakob Goldschmidt from 1930 until 1937. He lived in Berlin, but felt forced to leave the city with his art collection when the Nazis came to power. From 1933 Goldschmidt fled to various European cities before settling in 1936 in the United States, where he died in 1955. The part of his collection that remained in Europe was seized by the Nazis in the 1940s. This painting was not part of this group of confiscated works, but it is unknown when and under what circumstances it left the Goldschmidt collection.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'The Painting-Lovers' by Honoré Daumier
The Painting Lovers, Honoré Daumier, 1860-1865, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958

'The Free Pardon' by Honoré Daumier

This painting was sold to D.G. van Beuningen together with ‘The Painting Lovers’ by the art dealer Jacques Goudstikker in April 1939. It entered the museum with the purchase of the art collection from the estate of D.G. van Beuningen in 1958. It is not known when and from whom Goudstikker purchased this painting. In any case, ‘The Free Pardon’ seems to have been in the possession of the German Jewish banker and art collector Jakob Goldschmidt from 1930 until 1937 (possibly 1938). He lived in Berlin, but felt forced to leave the city with his art collection when the Nazis came to power. From 1933 Goldschmidt fled to various European cities before settling in 1936 in the United States, where he died in 1955. The part of his collection that remained in Europe was seized by the Nazis in the 1940s. This painting was not part of this group of confiscated works, but it is unknown when and under what circumstances it left the Goldschmidt collection.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'The Free Pardon' by Honoré Daumier
The Free Pardon, Honoré Daumier, 1860-1865, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958

'Street Scene' by Honoré Daumier

‘Street Scene’, painted by Honoré Daumier, was sold to D.G. van Beuningen by the art dealer Jacques Goudstikker in June 1939. It entered the collection of the museum in 1958 with the acquisition of the art collection from the estate of D.G. van Beuningen. It is not known from whom and when Goudstikker acquired the painting. It was in the collection of the German Jewish businessman and art collector Otto Blumenfeld from 1926 until a currently unknown date after 1930. Blumenfeld fled from Hamburg to the United Kingdom in 1938, where he died in 1975. It is not known when or under which circumstances 'Street Scene' left his collection.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'Street Scene' by Honoré Daumier
Street Scene, Honoré Daumier, 1860-1865, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958

'A Bishop Kneeling Before Saint Peter' by Anonymous, follower of Anthonie van Dyck

This oil sketch was sold as part of an estate sale under the title ‘Der thronende St. Marcus’ (Saint Mark Enthroned), then attributed to Van Dyck, at the Mandelbaum & Kronthal auction house in Berlin in 1936. The sale featured the contents of Bleibtreustraße 17 in Charlottenburg, Berlin. It is currently not known who lived at this address at the time (except that there lived a doctor and collector) or under what circumstances the auction took place. The work then entered the collection of the German Jewish art historian and writer Lothar Brieger-Wasservogel, who probably purchased it at or shortly after the aforementioned auction. Brieger fled Berlin for Shanghai in 1938. He returned to Berlin in 1947 to assume an academic position and died there in 1949. It is not known under which circumstances the painting left Brieger’s possession. The sketch was auctioned in Paris in 1955, but it is not known who the consignor was. It was again sold at auction in Paris in 1968, after which it was acquired by the London-based art dealer P. & D. Colnaghi, who sold it to the museum in 1969.

This oil sketch is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'A Bishop Kneeling Before Saint Peter' by Anonymous, follower of Anthonie van Dyck
A Bishop Kneeling Before Saint Peter by Anonymous, follower of Anthony van Dyck, circa 1630, purchase 1969

'The Lamentation of Christ' by Hans Memling

In 1936, ’The Lamentation of Christ’ by Hans Memling was owned by Arthur Goldschmidt, a Jewish art dealer who had fled from Germany. His name is linked to Karl Haberstock and Hans Wendland, who are known to have bought and sold stolen art. Goldschmidt settled in Paris in 1936 at Place Vendôme with Paul Graupe, another German art dealer. When the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, their collection was impounded and Goldschmidt was imprisoned. Upon his release six months later, he fled via Spain to Havana, Cuba, where he re-established himself as an art dealer. It is not known when and from whom Goldschmidt acquired the painting. In any case, in 1917 it was in the possession of Richard von Kaufmann in Berlin. Goldschmidt sold the painting in 1936 to D.G. van Beuningen. It entered the museum as part of his collection in 1958.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'The Lamentation of Christ' by Hans Memling
The Lamentation of Christ by Hans Memling, circa 1480, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958

'The Virgin with the Infant Christ Holding an Apple' by the Master of the Magdalen Legend

The painting ‘The Virgin with the Infant Christ Holding an Apple’ by the Master of the Magdalen Legend was auctioned by Galleria Scopinich in Milan on 21 November 1932 (no. 136, as Rogier van der Weyden). In 1937, the work was in the possession of Dr Hans Wendland, a German art dealer who is known to have bought and sold stolen art during the war. He was a prominent figure in transactions between Germany, France and Switzerland. The painting was in the possession of D.G. van Beuningen from 1938 and entered the museum as part of his collection in 1958. It is not known who purchased the painting at the sale at Galleria Scopinich in Milan in 1932. Neither is it known when and from whom Dr Wendland acquired the work and how Van Beuningen acquired it.

This painting is also on the website Museum Acquisitions From 1933 Onwards.

'The Virgin with the Infant Christ Holding an Apple' by the Master of the Magdalen Legend
The Virgin with the Infant Christ Holding an Apple by the Master of the Magdalen Legend, circa 1500, acquired with the collection of D.G. van Beuningen 1958