The Prado Museum It preserves in its collections 25 works of art -23 paintings, a fruit bowl and a clock- deposited by the General Commissariat for the Defense of Artistic Heritage, an organization created by Franco in the Civil War, and which in turn had probably been seized by the Artistic Treasure Seizure and Protection Board, formed by the republican government after the July 1936 coup. Joaquin Sorolla either Peter Bruegel the Younger They are some of the best known names on this list of canvases stolen during the war and the dictatorship and that have never been returned to their rightful owners.
This has been explained by the art gallery itself with the publication of a “provisional report” on the works in its collections from the two aforementioned organizations. The figure of the artistic heritage of the Prado related to the conflict amounts to a total of 62 works if the 37 paintings deposited by the Republican Board between 1936 and 1939 are also counted —of 26 of them, in general very deteriorated, the date is unknown— and that do not have any relationship with the General Police Station of the rebels.
“The objective is to clarify any doubt that may exist about the background and context prior to its entry into the Prado collections and, where appropriate, and complying with all legal requirements, return it to its rightful owners“, the museum has pointed out in a press release. They recognize that “this initial figure could be higher” and have created an investigation team ad hoc led by the professor and expert in heritage and Civil War, Arthur Colorado, author of several reference books on the subject. It is about resolving “the possibility that some of the works present in his collection come from seizures made in the period of the Civil War or during the Franco regime.”
Of the 25 works on the published list, the art gallery ensures that in 22 of the cases the origin was already expressly stated in the public file on the web. The three remaining pieces do not have a record due to their poor state of conservation. Is about baptism of christby José Jiménez Donoso, and two anonymous canvases entitled Saint Sebastian. Most of these works (17) were delivered to the Prado by the General Police Station between 1940 and 1942. The rest of the canvases came from the collections of the extinct Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art. The fruit bowl and the clock were delivered by the Francoist body in 1972.
This decision, recalls the Efe Agency, is recorded shortly after the Government has decided to return the shipowner’s family Ramon de la Sota two works requisitioned by the Franco regime after one of his heirs identified them at the Parador de Almagro (Ciudad Real) through a catalogue. Paintings –Portrait of a gentleman, attributed to Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622), and Portrait of Queen María Cristina de Borbónby Vicente López Portaña (1772-1850)—were recently returned and presented at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, after the State Attorney General’s Office issued a report last June encouraging the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to your return.
[Luis Paret: el Prado rescata al pintor eclipsado por Goya]
According to sources from the Prado Museum cited by Europa Press, the publication of this preliminary study —the conclusions will be announced in early 2023— is due to an exercise in “transparency”. This is the complete list of the 25 works in its collections that come from the General Commissariat for the Defense of Artistic Heritage:
1. Woman’s head with white mantillaby Joaquin Sorolla.
two. cupids harvestingby François Boucher (copy).
3. Christ in the Praetoriumby Pedro Ruiz Gonzalez.
Four. Saint Augustine meditating on the Ministry of the Trinityfrom the Rubens workshop.
5. Snowy landscapeattributed to Jan Brueghel the Younger.
6. crossing a riverby Joost deMomper.
7. Christ man of sorrowsby Adriaen Isenbrandt.
8. Alonso Cano. Anonymous
9. the nativityby Francisco and Rodrigo de Osona.
10. Adoration of the MagiFrancisco and Rodrigo de Osona.
eleven. lady with fanby José Gutiérrez de la Vega y Bocanegra.
12. Putti playing with a pigeonby François Boucher (copy).
13. The flight to Egypt. of Manuel deCastro.
14. chainedby Eugenio Lucas Velazquez.
fifteen. The Virgin with saints and angelsby Pedro Anastasio Bocanegra.
16. The Virgin with Saintsby Pedro Anastasio Bocanegra.
17. Canon José Olcina y MacíaKnight of Montesa, attributed to José Gutiérrez de la Vega y Bocanegra.
18. Gentleman portrait (sketch)by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz.
19. baptism of christby Jose Jimenez Donoso.
twenty. Saint Sebastian. Anonymous.
twenty-one. Saint Sebastian. Anonymous.
22. Allegory of the Old Testamentby José Gutiérrez de la Vega y Bocanegra.
23. Allegory of the New Testamentby José Gutiérrez de la Vega y Bocanegra.
24. Fruit platter. Anonymous. XIX century.
25. Standing clock with bronze figure and Roman numeralsby the watchmaker Delaistre and the sculptor Pierre-Louis Détrier.
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