recovered Masterpieces once Looted by Nazis

It is said that the Nazis pulled of the greatest art heist of all time. Hundreds of thousands works of art were confiscated, put through forced sales, and looted by the Nazi party during WWII. Many great works that did not fit the ideal classical style were publicly burned. Thousands of other pieces have never found. Here are 10 pieces that have been recovered since the days of the war and put on display. It should be noted most of the pieces are of the pre-modern era of art as modern art was deemed as Degenerate Art by Hitler and often sold off to outside nations or destroyed.

From the Baroque Period, Murillo's St. Justa and St. Rufina depicts the two young sisters, both fine pottery makers who practiced forbidden Christianity in Roman times. The pottery is shown in piles near the feet of the women tell the story of their skills and refusal to sell to pagans. Murillo uses very muted tones but the women are very lifelike. Heavily influenced by the religious stories the painting is a classic example of the Baroque Era. This is among the many works plundered by Nazis when Jewish families were being relocated. It was among the discovered masterpieces by the Monuments Men group toward the end of the war volunteering to go in, find, and preserve these great works.
Here is one version of a portrait Van Gough painted of his doctor, Paul Gachet. The doctor's face is full of melancholy and holds, as Van Gough stated, "the heartbroken expression of our time" and is the focal point of the image. Van Gough uses thick, flowing brushstrokes which slightly distorts the images for greater effect. One of the many pieces considered degenerate by the Nazi party, this portrait was confiscated by the German government in 1937. In an attempt to rid Germany of such pieces, it was then sold to an individual in Amsterdam.
The symmetrical paintings of Adam, left, and Eve, right, were created by Lucas Cranach the Elder during the German Renaissance. They depict the two members of the first story in the book of Genesis in the bible. Adam and Eve are very angelic in their features, showing the ideals of human beauty often exemplified during the Renaissance era. Currently hanging in The Art Institue of Chicago, the two pieces were confiscated by Nazis when the owner, a prominent Dutch-Jewish art dealer, fled Amsterdam when Nazi invasion was impending. Lawsuits has taken place to return the works to heirs of the original owner, currently still ongoing.
The painting with oil technique of Jewish Woman with Oranges originated in Warsaw, Poland. It was stolen by German forces and not recovered until 2011. The image depicts a poor Jewish woman who looks helpless and run down. This is highly contrasted by the vibrant oranges that are full of life. The image uses a realistic approach while depicting natural wrinkles showing the woman aged features. Stolen by Nazis from an antique shop in Warsaw, Poland had been seeking its return since until it was finally realized in 2011.
The Marriage Portrait of Charlotte de Rothschild is a symbol of the style of artwork Hitler revered. Angelic depiction of the woman and use of vibrant colors present a bright, happy emotion and show great life within the painting. Charlotte's beauty resonates in the portrait. The portrait's focus figure is of the prominent and incredibly wealthy Jewish family, the Rothschild's. The prominent family fled their palace home in Vienna when Nazi's closed in. Their palace was among the many looted for art and treasures to be taken in by the Nazis.
Another beautiful painting of Lucas Cranach the Elder, the Madonna and Child in a Landscape depicts a simple image of the Virgin Mary and her infant son, Christ. Dressed in vibrant garb and looking very human in nature, both figures express idealistic beauty of the German Renaissance. Nazis confiscated this painting among the collection of Philipp von Gomperz, a wealthy Viennese Jew, when they invaded Austria and he fled. It was acquired by a Nazi leader, Baldur von Schirach. Later appearing for sale in New York during the 50s and upon the buyers death, donated to the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1984 where it had been on display there since 1964. Two Austrian sisters stated claim to the painting but sold it to the North Carolina Museum of Art for well below the market value to remain at their museum.
Manet painted a higher social class married couple visiting a local conservatory. The woman becomes the focus of the painting with her elongated positioning and brightly colored attire. The physical separation of the two shows a detachment in the couple. The portrait identifies the movement to Imperialism that Manet is a key figure in. The painting was stolen by Nazi looting from a museum in Berlin. Recovered by Americans at the end of the war, it was one of the many well known pieces found. A famous photograph of the war is of American soldiers holding this piece as the recover the many great works.
The Night Watch by Rembrandt is one of the most famous paintings to come out of the Dutch Golden Age paintings. Here you find very little in religious depictions and instead more present day paintings in a wide variety of subjects. The Night Watch holds an effective use light and shadow known as chiaroscuro. This strong contrast between light and dark is heavily noted in the image of the watchmen and highlights key components within the image. The painting was removed from the museum it was housed in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, during WWII by the Nazis. The Germans housed it in a Dutch mountainside known as the Maastricht, which served as a Nazi repository during the war. Rembrandt's painting was discovered by Monuments Men in 1945 and rightfully returned to the Rijksmuseum.
As the second most famous work of Vermeer, The Art of Painting uses a high level of symbolism within. At first glance it is simply of the artist and his model, but all the objects surrounding have purpose and meaning that many critics debate. He uses limited palettes of monochrome shades of grey and browns, using muted naturals. These are then contrasted by the heavy saturation of rich pigmented colors such as the blue and gold of the models attire and prop. This painting was highly sought after by Hitler when they annexed Austria. Finally it was acquired by Hitler for his planned Linzer Museum. Found in a salt mine protected from allied bombings, Americans later presented it to the Austrian government in 1946.
Sir Anthony Van Dyck became the leading court painter in England during the Baroque period. He became known for his portraits including many of Charle I, shown here, and his family. This portrait gives the king at three angels and uses a naturalist style while embellishing the handsome features of the man. This is one among many paintings from the Baroque period that American soldiers found hidden in a salt mine after storming Germany in 1945. It was later returned to the heirs of its rightful owners.
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