Another WW II looted painting returned to Poland

1945 20 March 2012

A painting looted by Nazis from the National Museum collection in Warsaw during WWII has returned to Poland.

photo reproduction of 'Negress'

Murzynka (Negress - 1884) by Anna Bilinska-Bohdanowiczowa, was thought to be lost but last year the painting came up for sale at Berlin's Villa Grisebach auction house.

The painting was due to go under the hammer on 25 November, but Poland's Ministry of Culture was tipped off about the likelihood that the work was owned by a Polish museum.

A German law firm was hired by the Ministry to manage the restitution.

The 63 x 48,5 cm oil painting had been logged in Poland's official directory of cultural heritage lost during the war, and it was also listed in the Stolen Works of Art database of international police network Interpol.

Poland was obliged to pay compensation to the German citizen who had put the picture up for sale. However, the painting has now returned to its proper home.

Anna Bilinska-Bohdanowiczowa was born 1857 and studied in Paris. She was particularly noted for her portraits of women. Her life was cut short in 1893, suffering a fatal heart attack in Warsaw, just one year after returning from the French capital.

There is no information about who the model featured in the painting is, though black models were a favourite muse at the time in Paris, particularly among the impressionists, such as Paul Cézanne.

Last year, In the Artist's Studio, by Leon Wyczolkowski (1852-1936) was returned to Poland after being stolen by german Nazis from a museum in Warsaw around 1944. (pg/nh),Another-WW-II-looted-painting-returned-to-Poland
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