10 April 2011

Picasso at the Jeu de Paume

At least 86 works by Pablo Picasso fell into the hands of the Nazis' plundering units headed by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) and were taken to the Jeu de Paume for 'processing.'

Most of those Picasso paintings and works on paper came from the private collections of Alphonse Kann who lived in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Paul Rosenberg whose gallery was on the rue de la Boetie. He had shipped hundreds of paintings for safekeeping to various storage units in southwestern France where the Germans inevitably found them as a result of denunciations and returned them to Paris.

You would think that Nazi doctrine pertaining to art and especially to 'degenerate' artists such as Picasso would have condemned the production of Guernica's master to the trash heap. Absolutely not! Only 5 of Picasso's works were 'slated for destruction' by the ERR's zealous staffers. No evidence that they were in fact destroyed... The rest? Some were incorporated into Goering's collection while a fair number were recycled into the art market through exchanges and the rest languished at the Jeu de Paume.

So much for Nazi Germany's Kulturkampf against 'degenerate' art!

For more details, go to www.errproject.org/jeudepaume. Type in Picasso and see what you get...