Bernardo Bellotto  
“The Marketplace at Pirna”

Monuments Men Foundation Uncovers Evidence Indicating Nazi Era “Forced Sale” Painting Currently on View at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Belongs to Heirs of Dr. Max Emden
Bernardo Bellotto, The Marketplace at Pirna (c.1764)
History of Bellotto's provenances by MFAH
MMF Analysis of MFAH Provenance Report by Laurie Stein

 Press 

MFAH may keep painting once owned by Hitler’s art dealer, as judge rules against Jewish heirs

Houston Chronicle

May 4, 2022 - A federal judge ruled this week that the Museum of Fine Arts Houston can keep an 18th-century painting once owned by Nazis, ...

This MFAH painting was purchased by Hitler's art dealer. Should it be returned to Jewish owner's family?

Houston Chronicle

March 24, 2022 - Houston’s premier art museum faced off with a Chilean family in federal court Thursday over allegations the museum improperly obtained ...

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Must End Its Head-in-the-Sand Approach to Justice When It Comes to Restitution

Artnet

August 31, 2021 - The head of the Monuments Men Foundation on the pain-staking research into the real history behind a Bellotto painting at the MFAH. ...

Restitution Experts Blast Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts for Refusing to Return a Painting Once Purchased for Hitler’s Museum

Artnet

August 18, 2021 - The Monuments Men Foundation is squaring off against the MFAH in the court of public opinion ...

What Constitutes Art Sales Under Duress? A Dispute Reignites the Question

The New York Times

August 17, 2021 - A fight over a landscape painting bought for Hitler is focused on the question of whether its sale was voluntary or forced by economic distress the Nazis helped create. ...

MFA Houston Owns Bellotto Painting Sold Under Duress During World War II, Foundation Claims

ArtNews

July 22, 2021 -The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, an organization that researches works looted during World War II, is calling on the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to returne. ...

  Evidence 

A watercolor painting by Christian Friedrich Wiegand featuring artworks of the Winckler collection
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Wiegand's watercolor featured in a 1937 publication
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A parchment overlay indicating the artist and inventory number for each featured artwork
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Late 18th Century: Leipzig merchant and banker Gottfried Winckler (1731-1795) purchases "The Marketplace at Pirna" likely directly from Bernardo Bellotto and assigns it inventory number 1025. Winckler’s collection of paintings was one of the most important private middle-class collections in central Germany in the second half of the 18th century. Circa 1800, artist Christian Friedrich Wiegand recorded portions of Winckler's painting collection, including "The Marketplace at Pirna" in a series of eight watercolors.
Caspari, Munich, 1930.
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Caspari, Munich, 1930. (detail)
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By 1930: "The Marketplace at Pirna" is in the gallery of German art dealer Anna Caspari in Munich. Caspari subsequently sells the painting to Dr. Max James Emden.
Galerie Haberstock Berlin ledger handwritten purchase entry, June 1938.
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Galerie Haberstock Berlin ledger handwritten sale entry, June 1938.
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Galerie Haberstock Berlin photo S71
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Galerie Haberstock Berlin photo S71 (detail)
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June 1938: Karl Haberstock “purchases” Emden's "The Marketplace at Pirna," along with two other view paintings by Bellotto and his studio that he owned, and immediately sells them to the Reichskanzlei. The sale was arranged by Anna Caspari. Haberstock was a German art dealer who acquired numerous works of art for Hitler and his planned Führermuseum in Linz.

By August 1940: "The Marketplace at Pirna" is assigned a Linz number (F-35) and is included in Linz Album V, one of 31 albums that contained images of the works of art that had been selected for the Führermuseum.
MCCP No. 4411 Property Card (front)
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MCCP No. 4411 Property Card (back)
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