Claude Monet landscape painting discovered in art hoard in Germany

Investigators will determine whether it was looted by the Nazis, along with 1,280 other works from Cornelius Gurlitt's apartment

The treasure trove of artworks discovered in a Munich flat in 2012 continues to yield surprises even after the death of its reclusive owner, with the discovery of a previously unknown Claude Monet landscape.

A taskforce of art historians examining the late German collector Cornelius Gurlitt's long-hidden stash revealed on Friday that they had discovered the Monet painting in a suitcase that Gurlitt had taken to the hospital where he died in May this year.

Matthias Henkel, a taskforce member, told the Guardian that the light-blue Monet painting may have been painted around 1864 and bears close resemblance to the French artist's Vue de Sainte-Adresse, which is listed in Monet's catalogue raisonné and not considered lost. Henkel said it was very common for artists to paint several pictures of the same motif.

The taskforce has said that along with the other 1,280 works in the collection it will examine whether the Monet landscape may have been looted by the Nazis.

Gurlitt had inherited the collection, which includes artworks by Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix, Max Liebermann and Henri Matisse, from his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of the few dealers allowed by the Nazi regime to trade in "degenerate art".

When the discovery of Gurlitt's collection became public in November last year, there was speculation that it contained art looted from Jewish families by the Nazis.

So far only two paintings, Matisse's Sitting Woman and Liebermann's Two Riders on the Beach, have been identified as looted. In June, the taskforce's leader, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, confirmed that the Matisse painting rightfully belonged to the French art dealer Paul Rosenberg's collection.

In August, the taskforce announced that the Liebermann painting belonged to the descendant of the late Jewish collector David Toren.

Neither painting has yet been returned to its owner. Seven further paintings in the collection are suspected of counting as looted art.

Gurlitt died of a long-standing heart problem on 6 May, aged 81. In his will, he declared Bern's Kunstmuseum gallery as the sole heir to his collection. The Swiss gallery, which had no previous dealings with the collector, is expected to decide this year whether to accept the artworks.


Philip Oltermann in Berlin

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The mysterious Munich recluse who hoarded €1bn of Nazis' stolen art
Cornelius Gurlitt stacked suspected looted works in Schwabing apartment among juice cartons and 1980s tinned food

Philip Oltermann in Munich

04, Nov, 2013 @7:32 PM

Article image
Modernist art haul, 'looted by Nazis', recovered by German police

About 1500 works, includining pieces by Chagall, Klee, Matisse and Picasso, had been considered lost until raid in Schwabing

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

04, Nov, 2013 @1:05 PM

Article image
Is the Gurlitt collection so precious we forget its dubious heritage? | Nigel Warburton
Nigel Warburton: The moral philosopher: The paintings left to Bern Museum by Cornelius Gurlitt, son of a Nazi-era collector, may have strictly speaking been legally acquired but many were seized from Jewish owners

Nigel Warburton

25, Nov, 2014 @6:50 PM

Article image
German collector accused of owning Nazi-looted art dies
Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, dies amid dispute over thousands of masterpieces, including work by Picasso, Chagall and Matisse

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

06, May, 2014 @6:41 PM

Article image
Swiss museum sole heir in will of art collector Cornelius Gurlitt
Several works in his collection suspected of having been looted from Jewish families during Nazi era

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

07, May, 2014 @5:51 PM

Article image
Dutch art theft: a pick'n'mix of paintings reduced to criminal collateral
Jonathan Jones: A beguiling Freud, a dazzling Matisse, a modest De Haan – will these stolen paintings see the light again?

Jonathan Jones

16, Oct, 2012 @4:23 PM

Article image
Does the Munich hoard turn the story of art and the Nazis on its head?

The discovery in a Munich flat of 1,500 'lost' works raises fresh questions about the Nazis' attitude to the modern art they loved to hate, says Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

04, Nov, 2013 @7:11 PM

Article image
Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse review – thrillingly cosmic
Royal Academy, London
This exhibition of psychedelic modernist pastoral art is a ravishing joy and takes Monet out of the chocolate box, revealing one of art’s great humanists

Jonathan Jones

25, Jan, 2016 @7:30 PM

Article image
Cornelius Gurlitt’s haunted treasure trove of art needs to be seen
Jonathan Jones: Hated by the Nazis for their freedom and humanity, the paintings are neither poisoned gifts nor spoils of war but vital works of art

Jonathan Jones

24, Nov, 2014 @5:55 PM

Article image
Picasso, Matisse and Dix among works found in Munich's Nazi art stash
Art historian describes 'incredible joy' at seeing previously unknown works among 1,406 found at home of Cornelius Gurlitt

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

05, Nov, 2013 @7:28 PM