Spring Landscape
Alfred Sisley  (1839 - 1899)
Spring Landscape
54 x 74 cm
Sign.: Sisley 89
Status: The object is looted. Its current location is unknown.

  • Hans Wendland, German art dealer (?).
  • Confiscated by the ERR from the Georges Bernheim Collection, Paris.
  • Georges Bernheim Collection (rightful owner).
  • Gustav Rochlitz, Paris art dealer, acquired in an exchange with the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), 3 March 1941, Paris.
Additional Information
Spring Landscape was one of eleven confiscated modern paintings exchanged with the art dealer Rochlitz for two Old Master paintings, chosen by Göring for his collection. The exchange, made on 3 March 1941 by the ERR on Göring’s behalf and with his approval, was one of several made during the course of 1941-1943. In this transaction, Rochlitz was offered a choice of confiscated modern paintings held at the Jeu de Paume in exchange for a painting attributed to Titian and a Weenix Göring wished to acquire. The Old Master paintings were selected from photographs sent to Göring in Berlin by Bruno Lohse of the ERR who acted as his agent in Paris. Göring visited the Jeu de Paume personally to approve Rochlitz’s selection. The Titian and Weenix were jointly owned by Birtchansky, Rochlitz, and Wendland. Wendland later bought out Birtchansky’s interest and received six of the eleven modern paintings as a result.
Approximately 700 works of art, which had been confiscated by the ERR in France were selected for Hermann Göring’s private art collection. The standard procedure for the selection of objects involved Göring’s personal visit to the Jeu de Paume in Paris where he chose from among the works of art which had been placed on display there by the ERR staff. In most instances, the objects were packed on Göring’s private train and shipped from Paris to Berlin between 8 February 1941 and 24 November 1942.
The ERR was a special unit of the German Foreign Political Office under Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg whose primary function was the looting and confiscation of so-called “ownerless” Jewish art collections. Approximately 21,903 objects from 203 collections are believed to have been seized by the ERR in France.
The ERR conducted twenty-eight formal exchanges of confiscated paintings with six dealers between February 1941 and November 1943. In most of the cases, the paintings were French paintings of the late 19th and 20th century, which were exchanged for Old Master paintings. Transportation of confiscated Impressionist and 20th century paintings to Germany was forbidden, as these were formally regarded as Entartete Kunst (degenerate art) by the Nazis. Instead, the ERR used these highly saleable paintings in the interest of commercial exploitation or to obtain Old Master and other paintings. Many of the exchanged paintings were smuggled to Switzerland from where they were sold into private collections.
The information provided was taken from a 1945 US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Report. The object may since have been restituted to its rightful owner and its current location might be known.
If you can provide further information about the post-war provenance of this object, please contact the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945.
Source of Information
Activity of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg in France (Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 1). Office of Strategic Services, Art Looting Investigation Unit, APO 413, US Army, 15 August 1945

The Göring Collection (Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2). Office of Strategic Services, Art Looting Investigation Unit, US Army, September 1945

Gustav Rochlitz (Detailed Interrogation Report No. 4). Office of Strategic Services, Art Looting Investigation Unit, US Army, August 1945

Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945
76 Gloucester Place
Tel: +44 (0)20 7487 3401

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