"Monuments Man"

Capodimonte Masterpieces Stolen by Nazis and Saved by an Italian "Monuments Man"

Sacra Conversazione with Donors (ca. 1525) by Palma il Vecchio (Jacopo Negretti)Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

A Monuments Man

As in the film "The Monuments Men" (2014)  written, directed, produced and performed by George Clooney - a Secret Agent helped to save innumberable artworks taken by the Nazis from Italian Museums, destined for Hitler's Museum in Germany. The name of this Monuments Man is Rodolfo Siviero.

Portrait of a Young Woman called ‘Antea’ (ca. 1530-35) by Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola)Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

The Thefts for Hitler's Museum

During World War II, Nazi troops belonging to General Hermann Goering's division stole many important artworks from Italian museums and storage facilities. They claimed they took them to insure their safety. They sent many paintings to Berlin in order to create the Museum of the Führer. They pursued this project by confiscating artworks from lands they conquered. 

St. Jerome in His Study (ca. 1445) by Colantonio (Niccolò Antonio)Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

The Capodimonte Paintings

In 1943 the Nazis were forced to return a portion of the stolen treasure to Italy. However, fifteen paintings of Capodimonte - together with artworks from other Museums - remained hidden in Germany. In fact, Titians' "Danae" had become part of Goering's private collection. In this story we present to you the works stolen by the Nazis from Capodimonte, and recovered with the aid of the Monuments Man. 

Riposo durante la fuga in Egitto, Battistello (Giovanni Battista Caracciolo), 1622-1625, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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St. Jerome in His Study, Colantonio (Niccolò Antonio), ca. 1445, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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The Madonna of the Divine Love, Raphael, 1516, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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The Madonna of the Veil, Sebastiano del Piombo (Sebastiano Luciani), 1540's, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Madonna and Child, Bernardino Luini, ca. 1510-20, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Portrait of a Young Woman, Titian, 1545-46, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Portrait of a Young Woman called ‘Antea’, Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola), ca. 1530-35, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Sacra Conversazione with Donors, Palma il Vecchio (Jacopo Negretti), ca. 1525, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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The Adoration of the Magi - middle panel, Joos van Cleve (attributed), ca. 1515, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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The Blind Leading the Blind, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, dated 1568, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Landscape with the Nymph Egeria, Claude Lorrain, ca. 1669, From the collection of: Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte
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Riposo durante la fuga in Egitto (1622-1625) by Battistello (Giovanni Battista Caracciolo)Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

The Recovery

At the end of the war Rodolfo Siviero, head of the Interministerial Office for the Recovery of Artworks, went to Germany to find the lost masterpieces. The paintings were found in the salt mine at Altaussee, near Salzburg and were brought to Monaco. They were returned to the Italian government on 7 August 1947.

Now these paintings are exhibited at Capodimonte and you can see them during your visit to the Museum.
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Credits: Story

Curated by Francesca Santamaria
Thanks to the Educational Department of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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