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Stormy LandscapeEnlarge image

Stormy Landscape, c. 1636

Peter Paul Rubens
Flemish, 1577 - 1640
oil on oak
29.7 x 42 cm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, Montreal, 1998
National Gallery of Canada (no. 39709)

While the name of Rubens is closely associated with boldly coloured figure paintings, the artist also produced a small number of ravishing landscapes for his own pleasure, which were greatly admired by his contemporaries. In "Stormy Landscape", Rubens seems remarkably at ease in depicting the natural beauty of the Flemish countryside for its own sake.

Provenance 

by 1906 – 1943/04/13
Adolphe Schloss (1842–1910), Paris, France; Lucie Schloss (1858–1938), his wife, by inheritance; their children, Lucien Schloss, Henri Schloss, Raymond Schloss, and Mrs. Propser-Émile (Schloss) Weil, by inheritance [1]

1943/04/13 –

Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), seized from the Schloss family, Château de Chambon, near Tulle, France [2]

– 1944/06/16
Cornelius Postma, Paris, taken from the confiscated Schloss collection [3]

1944/06/16 – 1947/05/16–18

Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany, purchased from Cornelius Postma [4]

1947/05/16–18

French government, confiscated from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum [5]

by 1951/12/05
Schloss family, restituted by the French government [6]

1951/12/05 –
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, UK, purchased from the Schloss family [7]

by 1961/02/20 – still in 1980
Sir John Heathcoat Amory, 3rd Baronet (1894–1972), Knightshayes Court, near Tiverton, Devon, UK, purchased from Thomas Agnew & Sons; his family by inheritance [8]

by 1984
with Thomas Agnew & Sons, London [9]

1984 – 1998/06/15
Michal (b. 1920) and Renata Hornstein, Montreal, purchased from Thomas Agnew & Sons [10]

1998/06/15 –
National Gallery of Canada, given by Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein [11]

Notes 

The main source for this provenance is Wolfgang Adler's publication “Landscapes.” Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, Part XVII, vol.1, p. 146, cat. no. 44. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] By 1906, the painting was part of the internationally renowned art collection of Adolphe Schloss, who lent it to an exhibition in London that year [London Corporation Art Gallery, London, Guildhall, 1906, cat. no. 82]. Schloss bequeathed his collection to his wife Lucie in 1911. After her death it was passed on to the couple's children.

[2] On April 13, 1943, the entire Schloss collection, 333 mainly Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings, was seized by the ERR from the Château de Chambon, near Tulle, where the family had deposited the collection for safekeeping in1939. Rubens' Stormy Landscape was among the looted objects and is listed with a photo in the “Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la Guerre 1939–1945” [as Paysage par temps d'orage by Peter Paul Rubens, Collection Schloss, 29 x 41 cm, cat. no. 6065, O.B.I.P. no. 32.663].

[3] 262 paintings from the Schloss collection were brought to Munich by the ERR to be integrated into Adolf Hitler's “Linz Collection”; 49 objects remained with the Louvre during the war. The remaining 22 paintings were disposed of by Jean Francois Lefranc, Vichy-appointed administrator of the Schloss collection [Consolidated Interrogation Report no.4, The Göring Collection, p. 29, OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945–1946, NARA Microfilm Publications M1782]. Rubens' Stormy Landscape was apparently among this last group. Cornelius Postma, who along with Lefranc had been appointed by the Germans to assess the Schloss collection, sold the painting to Franz Rademacher, curator at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, on June 16, 1944 for 1.200 000 ffrs [File ALVR 22790, Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, inventory no. 44, 225].

[4] See note [3]. In order to protect it from Allied bombing the painting did not go on display at the Bonn Museum but was transported along with the entire collection to the Cistercian abbey of Marienstatt, Westerwald, in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate. After the war Marienstatt became part of the French occupied zone and all artworks from Marientstatt were confiscated by French troops and transported to the French collecting point in Baden-Baden. Rubens' Stormy landscape is included on an invoice, dated May 16/18, 1947, listing objects transported from Marienstatt to Baden-Baden as no. 1044, caisse 8 [email by Dr. Marion Widmann, archivist, Rheinische Landesmuseum Bonn, to A. Kausch, NGC provenance research project, September 3, 2009].

[5] See note [4] and [6].

[6] A Stormy Landscape was returned to France and restituted by the French government to the Schloss heirs. The family sold the painting on December 5, 1951, through the Galerie Charpentier, Paris [“Collection de feu M. Adolphe Schloss. Deuxième Vente. Tableaux Anciens.” lot. no. 47].

[7] As recorded in an annotated catalogue of the 1951 Schloss sale, the painting was purchased by London art dealer Thomas Agnew & Sons for 6.8 million francs [NGC curatorial file].

[8] The painting was in possession of Sir John Heathcoat Amory by 1961, when he lent it to an exhibition at Agnew & Sons [“Oil Sketches and Smaller Pictures by Sir Peter Paul Rubens.“ Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, Feb.20 – Mar. 11, 1961, cat. no. 28]. Wolfgang Adler mentions the work still belonged to the Heathcoat estate in his 1980 publication “Jan Wildens, der Landschaftsmitarbeiter des Rubens.” Fridingen: Graf Klenau Verlag, 1980, p. 44-45].

[9] The painting was purchased by Montreal art collectors and philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein from Thomas Agnew & Sons in 1984. The couple donated it to the National Gallery of Canada on June 15, 1998 [Accession records, NGC curatorial file].

[10] See note [9].

[11] See note [9]. Accession log [NGC curatorial file].

Provenance completed
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