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Austria returned the wrong picture of Klimt to the wrong family.

Landscape The development of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting techniques contribute to the formation of the genre in Europe and why is the Hudson River so important? Read further Gustav Klimt with an image of an apple tree was removed from the exhibition at the Leopold Museum after it became clear that his restitution was a mistake.At first, Austria was criticized for returning too slowly the works of art stolen from the Jews in the Nazi era. Now the country is being condemned because it hastily returned the picture to the heirs of the rightful owner. It is about the landscape "Apple Tree II" by Gustav Klimt, who was one of the three hundred exhibits on display at the Vienna Leopold Museum, dedicated to the centenary of the artist's death.
The canvas was lent to the institution by the Paris-based Louis Vuitton Foundation, founded by mogul and collector Bernard Arnaud. But on the opening day of the show, the Leopold Museum announced that the picture was removed from the exposition and returned to the Foundation, since "it is currently the subject of a dispute between several people and institutions." The fact is that although the Austrian government returned the landscape The development of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting contribute to the genre in Europe, and why is the Hudson River so important? Read more to the heirs of a private collector 18 years ago, now it turned out that this was done by mistake.Apple tree IIGustav Klimt1916, 80 × 80 cm The problem is partly due to the confusion of two paintings - "Roses under the trees" (1905) and "Apple trees II" (1916). The first belonged to industrialist Viktor Zuckerkandl, who bequeathed to her niece Nora in 1927. With the advent of Hitler, she tried to escape from Austria and sold the landscape. The development of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting contributed to the formation of the genre in Europe and why is the Hudson River so important? Read on to a Nazi official, his childhood friend, but died in the Polish death camp Belzhets in 1942. The official gave “Roses ...” to his mistress, who in 1980 sold the landscape. The development of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting techniques contribute to the formation of the genre in Europe and why is the Hudson River so important? Read on to the Swiss dealer Peter Nathan for the Orsay Museum that was planned then, where he is now exhibited.
Apple Tree II, taken from the Leopold Museum, first attracted public attention in 1926, when Klimt's friend, collector Serena Lederer presented it at the exhibition. The owner herself died in 1943, many of her treasures were captured by the Nazis, and then destroyed in 1945, when the retreating German soldiers set fire to Immendorf Castle, where the stolen works were kept. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the provenance indicated two paintings with the name "Apple Tree" belonging to the Lederer family.Roses under treesGustav Klimt1905, 110 × 110 cmIn 1961, “Apple II” was transferred to the Vienna Belvedere Gallery after the death of Gustav Uchitski, a former member of the Nazi party and the director of propaganda films, who called himself the son of Klimt. Some experts doubt that the picture was forcibly seized from Lederer. They believe that they sold her Uchitski. After such statements, the Austrian government appointed an investigation, which in 2001 established that the landscape of the genre from antiquity to the present day: how did religion and the invention of oil painting techniques contribute to the formation of the genre in Europe and why is the Hudson River so important? Read further originally belonged to a completely different woman, Nora Stiasni. The canvas was transferred to her heirs, who then sold it for 20 million euros to the current owner.
The collector remained anonymous until “Apple Trees” was shown at the press showing of the Klimt exhibition. The next day, she was removed from the exhibition.

Egon Schiele, "Portrait of Erich Lederer" (1912). Basel Museum of Art
In fact, the provenance of work aroused suspicion even before its transfer to Stiasni's heirs, and experts for many years called the erroneous restitution “open secret”. In 2015, it was discovered that Nora Stiasni actually belonged to “Rose bushes under the trees”. But the claims of the Lederer family to "Apple Tree II" were rejected by the Austrian government. Their situation was further complicated by the fact that the picture returned to France, but they did not lose hope. “I’ll [return the picture] for my uncle Erich Lederer, who died in 1985,” said Marianna Kristine-Jacobs, a niece of a collector and philanthropist.
Meanwhile, it is completely incomprehensible who is now responsible for the erroneous restitution. The Austrian government is considering the legal consequences of its decision, but has not yet corrected its mistakes. It is also unknown how deeply Bernard Arnaud and his advisers looked into the origin of the work they had bought, knowing that it was returned as illegally seized property.

In the meantime, “Apple Tree II” remains at the Louis Vuitton Foundation and no one can answer whether it will be displayed again. The Arthiv: read us in the Telegram and look on Instagram
Based on The Art Newspaper

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