The Kunsthaus Zurich sells a Monet from its collections acquired in 1939

The Zurich Kunsthaus will put Monet’s painting on sale The Man with the Umbrella (1865-1867) belonging to its collections. The museum concluded a ” amicable agreement “ with the Sachs heirs, legitimate owners of the painting, announces a press release from the museum dated June 19. “The money from the sale of The Man with the Umbrella will be distributed between the heirs of the Sachs family and the Kunsthaus Zurich” indicates the museum. The share going to the Zurich Society of Fine Arts, owner of the museum, will be paid into the fund intended for the Kunsthaus collection.

Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Man with the Umbrella1865-1867, oil on canvas, 99 x 61 cm.

© © Kunsthaus Zurich, 1939

The Man with the Umbrella had initially been sold to the Kunsthaus Zurich in 1939 by Carl Sachs, a Jewish-Polish entrepreneur working in the textile industry. “Sold to the Kunsthaus Zurich, Monet’s painting is the first work from which Carl Sachs was forced to part with to face serious financial difficulties”, explains the museum. Forced to leave Poland to take refuge in Switzerland due to the persecution of the Jews, Carl Sachs and his wife left Germany in 1939 and sold The Man with the Umbrella few weeks later. This hasty sale carried out under duress made it possible to ensure the subsistence of the Sachs couple. Carl Sachs sold 13 works until his death in December 1943. The Sachs family had originally loaned Monet’s painting to the Kunsthaus in 1934.

The agreement established with the Sachs heirs follows a new strategy on the provenance of works. It consists of being more proactive in identifying the conditions of acquisition between 1933 and 1945. The museum management explains that it regrets that this “magnificent painting” probably leaves the Kunsthaus after its sale. “At the same time, this step underlines the seriousness of our provenance strategy (…) when there is substantiated evidence of a difficult situation caused by Nazi persecution. » adds Philipp Hildebrand, president of the Zurich Society of Fine Arts.

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