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Architectural capriccio – design for a stage(?)
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Architectural capriccio – design for a stage(?)

Attributed to Giuseppe Galli Bibiena (1696 - 1756)

Pen and ink (brown), watercolour (blue) on paper

Width: 29.9 cm; Height: 20.3 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Sir Robert Clermont Witt; bequest; 1952 (de-accessioned 2007)
D.1952.RW.3851.(RETURNED)

About this work
This drawing was formerly in the collection of Dr Arthur Feldmann (1877-1941), a prominent Jewish lawyer from Brno in the Czech Republic. The collection was looted by the Gestapo in 1939, and Dr Feldmann and his wife subsequently died under Nazi persecution. In 1946, drawings from Feldmann’s collection appeared in an auction at Sotheby’s in London, identified only as ‘Property of a Collector’. This drawing and two others (attributed toFrans van Mieris the Elder, A dog lying down, to Carl Ruthart, Lion) were acquired at the auction by Sir Robert Witt (1872-1952), and subsequently bequeathed to the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1952 (Sotheby’s, 16 October 1946, lots 55 a&b and 83).

In 2006 the Courtauld received a claim from the Feldmann heirs for the restitution of these three drawings. Persuaded by the evidence linking these drawings to the collection, which is known to have been looted, the Courtauld joined the heirs in submitting the claim for restitution to the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel. In 2007 the Panel found that Dr Feldmann had been deprived of the drawings by an act of Nazi spoliation and recommended that all three drawings be returned to the family. A Charity Commission Order dated 3 May 2007 ratified this recommendation. As a 'symbol of friendship', Dr Feldmann’s heirs decided to donate the van Mieris drawing to the Courtauld Gallery.

To read the Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel, see

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/231370/0200.pdf (Permanent collection label)



This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.



Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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