6 July, 12:50

Matisse's canvas from the Stedelek Museum will be returned to its previous owners

Matisse's canvas from the Stedelek Museum will be returned to its previous owners
The Amsterdam City Museum, or Stedelijk Museum, will return Henri Matisse's Odalisque, which the previous owner was forced to sell due to persecution. Until 1941, the work of art was in the family of the Berlin textile manufacturer Albert Stern.

The canvas has a very sad history, connected with the incredible suffering caused to the family of the previous owners. The question of the origin of the painting has been raised since 2013.
According to the Amsterdam City Museum, Albert Stern and his family were persecuted because of their Jewish origin. In 1937, they were even forced to go to Amsterdam. However, after the start of the Nazi occupation of the country, the Sterns were forced to sell their property. In this way, the painting by Matisse ended up in the Stedelek Museum.

Albert Stern was later sent to a concentration camp, where he died in 1945. His relatives managed to survive.

It is known that the manufacturer's collection once contained works by Edvard Munch, Lovis Corinth and Vincent Van Gogh. Stern's wife, Maria, was mainly involved in the meetings. They lived in a magnificent house in the lakeside suburb of Nikolas in Berlin, where they often hosted artists, writers, musicians and collectors.
According to the Dutch restitution committee, the sale of the painting to the museum was a forced measure. This was related to "measures taken by the occupation authorities against the Jewish population."

"Matisse's return is a moving and stunning moment for all of us. Our grandparents loved art, music and theater, it was the center of their lives. This decision provided symbolic justice for our grandfather," the heirs said in a statement.


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