20 April 2011

In search of a triptych “Purificato Mariae” by Marco d’Oggione

In early January 2011, the heiress to a Dutch family who currently lives in Venezuela asked for assistance in finding a painting stolen during the German occupation of Holland from her father’s home in Doorwerth. The painting is a triptych signed by Marco d’Oggione, and produced around 1470 for a wealthy Lombard family. d’Oggione had studied under Leonardo da Vinci.

Her father, Theodoor Hermann Driessen, had purchased the d'Oggione from Galleria Voltare in Florence, Italy, in May 1929. Mario Salmi, then Director of the Uffizi in Florence, had provided a certificate of authenticity for the work.

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Driessen owned a chocolate factory operating under the brand “Driessen” in Rotterdam. The family house—“Jagerhuis”—in Doorwerth, near Arnhem, was filled with art treasures and other valuables, which her father had laboriously collected over many decades.

On October 2, 1944, German troops loaded up all of the Driessen family belongings onto trucks and shepherded them eastward towards the Reich, never to be seen again. The Driessen family fled westward to safety to a nearby village with the little that they had been able to salvage from their house and hid in a cellar with dozens of other refugees.

The following day, on October 3, the “Jagerhuis” was pulverized by phosphorus bombs.

After the war, Theodoor Driessen filed a number of claims, in vain, to recover his property.

"Purificato Mariae" by Marco d'Oggione, ca. 1470, 280 x 160 cm
Source: Bundesarchiv via ERR Project
Should anyone have any information about the d’Oggione, drop us a line. There’s a family waiting to recover it.