The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, December 23, 2014


National Gallery Seeks Information On Cupid Complaining to Venus by Lucas Cranach
Cupid Complaining to Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder (about 1525). Oil on wood, 81.3 x 54.6 cm. Cupid complains to Venus that he has been stung by bees. He holds in his hand the honeycomb that has been stolen from them. The Latin verses in the upper right point up the moral message in this picture that life’s brief pleasure is mixed with pain.
LONDON.-The National Gallery seeks further information in response to a recent discovery about the provenance of its painting Cupid Complaining to Venus by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

In the light of new information, the National Gallery believes that Cupid Complaining to Venus was once part of Adolf Hitler’s private collection.

We are very grateful to Dr Birgit Schwartz, who has been carrying out research on Hitler’s art collecting, for bringing to our attention new information that greatly contributes to our search to fill gaps in the provenance of this painting. The National Gallery believes that Dr Schwartz’s identification of the painting in a photograph of Hitler’s private gallery is correct. The photograph is in an album that is part of Hitler’s former library of 1200 volumes, now in the Library of Congress in Washington. Although Cranach and his workshop made many versions of his compositions, they were rarely exact replicas. The Latin inscription in the National Gallery Cupid Complaining to Venus is placed directly against the background, rather than on a white cartellino. This inscription and other distinctive features of the London painting are clearly visible in the photograph.

The National Gallery bought Cupid Complaining to Venus in 1963 from the New York dealers E & A Silbermann. This firm stated at the time that it came to them from the sale of the collection of Emil Goldschmidt from Frankfurt – which was auctioned by Rudolph Lepke in Berlin on 27 April 1909. The Cranach painting was listed as Lot 48 at this auction. E & A Silbermann told the National Gallery in 1963 that Cupid Complaining to Venus was sold to them by ‘family descendants’ of the buyer at the 1909 auction. Recently the Gallery learnt that the painting was actually acquired in 1945 by Mrs Patricia Lochridge Hartwell (1916–1998), then an American war correspondent in Nazi Germany. A relative of Mrs Hartwell informed the National Gallery that in 1945 she was allowed to take the painting from a warehouse full of art then controlled by US forces in Southern Germany. Mrs Hartwell eventually took the painting back home to the USA.

The provenance gap that now exists is therefore between 1909 and 1945. We also now know that the painting was in Hitler’s possession at some stage during this period. The National Gallery now wishes to establish how and when Cranach’s Cupid complaining to Venus came to be in Hitler’s collection. The National Gallery is continuing its investigations to find this out. Any information from the public would be gratefully received.

Part of the Gallery's normal work is to investigate the provenance of its paintings. In light of concerns that some works of art may have been improperly acquired during 1933–45, the National Gallery, along with museums elsewhere, has paid particular attention to the whereabouts of its paintings during those years.
In March 1999 The Art Newspaper,in cooperation with the National Gallery, published a list of the Gallery’s paintings, the whereabouts of which during all or part of the years 1933 to 1945 was not known. Cupid complaining to Venus was included on the list. Since 1999 research has continued, and the list, which can be found on the Gallery’s website, is updated from time to time as new information emerges.

The National Gallery wishes to learn as much as possible about the provenance of the Cranach painting as part of its ongoing provenance researches. Anyone who may have further information on the precise whereabouts of this painting at any time during the period 1909–1945 is asked to contact the National Gallery by letter to Libraries and Archives Department, The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN; or email lad@ng-london.org.uk





Today's News

March 28, 2008

National Gallery Seeks Information On Cupid Complaining to Venus by Lucas Cranach

Print Auction at Sotheby's Featuring Important Works from Private and Institutional Collections

Nude Carla Bruni Photograph to be Auctioned at Christie's

Bill Viola: The Tristan Project - The Fall into Paradise, 2005 at Art Gallery of New South Wales

Plans Unveiled for a Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry

Merril Lynch Arteamericas Exhibits will showcase Broad Evolution of Latin American Art

Iconic Masterworks of 20th Century Furniture & Decorative Arts Come to Auction on April 7

Roman Ondák - Measuring the Universe

Daniel Hug Named New Director of ART COLOGNE

The James A. Michener Art Museum Receives Conservation Bookshelf

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site