Nicolas Poussin Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to Owners – ARTnews.com
A painting by Nicolas Poussin was discovered in Italy, which was looted from its Jewish owners in France during the Nazi occupation. The work entitled L.ot with his two daughters serving him a drink It has since been returned to its owners, according to Carabinieri, Italy’s national police force.
The search for the missing work began again last year when the heirs, a 98-year-old Swiss woman and a 65-year-old American, began searching a database of property looted in France during World War II. After finding the painting on site, they applied to the Italian government to return it.
A special unit devoted to protecting cultural heritage has managed to pinpoint the piece’s provenance, although much of its post-occupation journey remains a mystery. They discovered that the painting was purchased in France in 2017 from an Italian antique dealer who loaned it to Belgium for an exhibition. The work was then sold to a Milanese dealer who exhibited it in Maastricht, the Netherlands, in 2019. During this exhibition, a viewer, a Dutch antiques expert, recognized her as a pillaged Poussin.
On the route they had recreated, the Italian police eventually followed the work to the antique dealer’s house near Padua in northeastern Italy. The Poussin was confiscated and returned to his heirs.
Poussin was considered one of the greatest French artists of the 17th century. He preferred intimate canvases for private collectors that focused on scenes from Greek mythology and allegorical landscapes. For a short time, Poussin even worked as one of Louis XIII’s personal painters. And finally finished that job when he left for Rome, where he stayed until his death in 1665.