São Paulo, Brazil, boasts one of the finest art museums in the Southern Hemisphere, something to make its friends in Buenos Aires squirm.
|MASP - Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo|
Source: Flickr via Fernando Stankuns
|Seal of Sao Paulo|
Currently on display at MASP are portraits and self-portraits by the likes of Goya, Manet, van Gogh, Modigliani, Renoir and others of equal esthetic caliber.
Any desire to know more about these works—their history, their previous owners, past exhibitions, publications in which they appeared—leads to … nothing. Anyone curious to find out additional information must undertake the research using available tools… like the Internet.
Let’s see what we get:
|Le Gamin au Képi, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888|
The only question to ask here is: how did Karl Neumann hang on to a van Gogh painting for the entire period of the Third Reich? We do know that the Nazi regime investigated all transactions by Jewish dealers, especially as regards to objectionable works like those by Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and Expressionists.
|Portrait of Suzanne Block, Pablo Picasso, 1904|
Although the provenance is impeccable, the history of the painting is worth a short documentary. “Suzanne Bloch” was one of the first works to be acquired by the MASP in 1947, with financial assistance from Walter Moreira Salles, the founder of Unibanco. Sixty years later, on December 20, 2007, thieves made off with the painting. The Sao Paulo police recovered the painting undamaged one month later.
|Walther Moreira Salles|
Source: Instituto Moreira Salles