Veränderte Beweislage – Die Rubens-Bildnisse Veronica Spinola Serra der Staatlichen Kunsthalle Karlsruhe und Geronima Spinola Spinola und ihre Enkelin Maria Giovanna Serra der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart mit der Provenienz Jakob und Rosa Oppenheimer in der Beurteilung der fortschreitenden Provenienzforschung
The Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart both purchased each one prominent portrait painting by Peter Paul Rubens from the collection of Conrad Bareiss (1880-1958) in 1964 and 1965 respectively: Veronica Spinola Serra and Geronima Spinola Spinola und ihre Enkelin Maria Giovanna Serra. In former times, both paintings had belonged to the inheritance of Jakob Oppenheimer (1879-1941), as part of the stock of the art dealer Dr. Curt Benedict & Co. respectively of the Galerie van Diemen, before being auctioned off at Paul Graupe in Berlin in 1935. Three times, these acquisitions were put to test, each time they were assessed differently. In 1954, a compromise settlement between the Oppenheimer heirs and Conrad Bareiss entitled the latter to retain the paintings. In 2000, when with reference to the Washington Principles a claim to the paintings was asserted, both of them remained with the museums due to an expert opinion. Although both paintings were officially acknowledged as Nazi-confiscated art, the compromise settlement was judged to prohibit a restitution. Again in 2022, the museums were confronted with a questioning of their legal ownership, the paintings allegedly being Nazi-confiscated art. By means of a since that time developed provenance research and important primary sources having been made accessible, it is possible to proof that the paintings in 1935 were not auctioned off for reasons of persecution but in the context of a corporate indebtedness beginning already before 1933. This is why the paintings cannot be objects of a restitution.
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