A painting by 19th Century Austrian painter Joseph Wopfner looted by the Nazis has been restituted to the heirs of a Nuremberg toy manufacturer, reported artnews.com
Abraham Adelsberger, who was also an art collector, died in 1940. His will stipulated that his collection be given to his son-in-law Alfred Isay, who took the painting, Fischerboote bei Frauenchiemsee, with him when he fled to Amsterdam to escape the Nazis.
It’s not clear when Isay lost the painting, but records from the era point to the time during Nazi occupation when the family was pressured by the Nazi regime to sell their art collection.
The painting is being restituted by the Bavarian State Painting Collection, which overseas one of the most valuable art collections in Germany, according to Art Insider.
“I am glad that we can return Joseph Wopfner’s painting to its rightful owner,” said Bavaria’s art minister Bernd Sibler. “The Adelsberger and Isay families suffered great suffering from the National Socialists: They were persecuted, driven from their homeland and deported to concentration camps. We cannot undo these unspeakable atrocities by returning the work of art, but it should contribute to more justice.”
“We hope that this matter will be spread around the world so that future generations can also learn about the history of the Adelsberger-Isay family during the terrible Holocaust,” the family’s lawyer, Nathan Scheftelowitz, said in a statement.
The painting is the twentieth piece of art to be restituted to its Jewish heirs by the Bavarian government.
“Every restitution serves to raise awareness of former injustices, former life fates and often losses, expulsions and murders,” Bernhard Maaz, general director of the Bavarian State Painting Collections, said in a statement.