Italian Government Locates Painting Looted by Nazis

In the 17th century, the painter Nicolas Poussin incorporated classicism into his art, creating a multitude of works that will still move people centuries later. Both during his lifetime and afterwards, his work intersected in unexpected ways with history, including two works commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu. More recently, one of his most striking paintings had been neglected for decades – that is, until the beginning of this year.

The painting in question is titled Lot with his two daughters serving him a drink. And as with far too many works of art in the last century, the decades-long disappearance is the result of the painting that the Nazis looted during World War II.

An article by Tessa Solomon on ARTnews explains how the painting was returned to its rightful owners after so many years. In 2020, Solomon explains, the painting’s heirs searched a database of property looted by the Nazis in France during the war. The heirs submitted an application for restitution. At this point the Italian government became involved.

Police were able to trace the painting back to the house of an antique dealer who bought it in 2017. It was recovered there; Solomon reports that it has since been returned to its rightful owners. It’s another action that was completed in a much larger restitution effort.

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