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US News Canvas by Derain. Justice orders the return to the heirs of a looted Jewish art dealer

20:40  30 september  2020
20:40  30 september  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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« Paysage en Corse » et « Paysage à Cassis » du peintre André Derain. © JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP "Landscape in Corsica" and "Landscape in Cassis" by the painter André Derain.

Three paintings by the painter André Derain will have to be returned to the heirs of René Gimpel, a great collector of Jewish art looted during the war after the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal.

The Paris Court of Appeal on Wednesday (September 30th) condemned the state to return three paintings by the Fauvist painter André Derain to the heirs of René Gimpel, a great collector of Jewish art despoiled during the war.

According to the judgment consulted by AFP, the court overturned the judgment of the criminal court which had refused in August 2019 the restitution of the three works, “Paysage à Cassis”, “La Chapelle-sous-Crecy” and “Pinède, Cassis ”, kept at the Museum of Modern Art in Troyes and at the Cantini-de-Marseille Museum.

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There are "precise, serious and concordant indices" according to which the three tables are indeed those which have been despoiled and "whose sale is null" , in application of the ordinance of April 21, 1945, writes the court in its decision.

“It's great”

At first instance, the court ruled on the contrary that there were still “persistent uncertainties as to the identification of the paintings” , which have traveled, changed names, sometimes been re-lined over decades.

"It's great" , welcomed the heirs' lawyer Corinne Hershkovitch to AFP, who in 2013 had initiated representations to museums. "The court followed us on points that we had put forward and we are very happy to be recognized" , she added.

The descendants of the Parisian gallery owner are still waiting to recover all the works looted or missing in the tumult of the war. After years of investigation, they claimed to have found the Derains, acquired by their grandfather during the sale of the Kahnweiler collection in 1921 in Paris.

They demanded from the Ministry of Culture the return of these paintings "Landscape in Cassis", "La Chapelle-sous-Crecy" and "Pinède, Cassis", exhibited for the first two in Troyes and for the third in Marseille.

René Gimpel, one of the greatest art collectors of the early twentieth century, resistant, had fled Paris in October 1940 for the French Riviera. Arrested in 1944 and deported to the Neuengamme camp, he died in January 1945.

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