22 April 2011

Wanted: A Lady with a Parrot

Lady with a Parrot
Source: Von der Heydt Museum
Although born in Heidelberg in 1639, Caspar Netscher established himself as a Dutch painter, who mastered the art of depicting the lushness and sensuality of textiles and their embroidered surfaces. The “Lady with the Parrot” (Frau mit Papagei or Dame am Fenster), by Caspar Netscher is a wonderful example of how Netscher commands detail while conveying intimacy and a subtle dose of exotic levity in his subject.

Hugo Daniel Andriesse, a wealthy Belgian financier and industrialist, owned the Netscher painting until it was forcibly removed from Brussels, Belgium, by elements of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) together with the rest of his collection and promptly shipped to the Jeu de Paume in Paris where it was ‘processed’ in March 1942 as HA 9.

Hermann Goering demanded the painting as well as others from Andriesse’s collection and the item was shipped to the Reich.

Nothing more was heard of it until….several years ago when it was exhibited at the Von der Heydt Museum in Wuppertal, Germany, as part of its permanent collection.

Von der Heydt, it should be said, has an extremely long rap sheet as an international man of intrigue and with very deep pockets who exchanged favors with the most unsavory characters bred and nurtured by the Third Reich, including, but not limited to, acquiring, hoarding and dispensing of looted cultural property and other forms of assets pilfered from Jews during the Second World War.

If Andriesse did not recover the painting, it has to be restituted to his family. Why hasn’t anyone done anything about this?

Lady with a Parrot
Source: Bundesarchiv via ERR Project