The Beheading of Saint Reparata

Daddi, Bernardo (1295-1348) | Painter

Important clues to the provenance of a painting are often provided on the reverse side. Next to artist attributions and inventory numbers of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie, there is a reference to an auction in July 1891. These details can also be found in documents of the so-called Linz Special Commission and prove that the panel was acquired for this purpose. The Special Commission selected artworks throughout Europe for a Central museum (“Führermuseum”) planned for Linz. In June 1939, Adolf Hitler appointed Hans Posse, the director of the Gemäldegalerie, as his special envoy, so that Dresden became a hub for the theft of cultural property during the Second World War. The Daddis panel was acquired from private ownership in Paris in 1943.

Despite the numerous markings on the back, the previous owners could not be determined until today. The painting therefore remained in the Gemäldegalerie's holdings and is registered as an object in the Lost Art database, which documents cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution.

The trail of another painting from the Gallery's holdings also led to Paris in times of German occupation. Research on Nicolas de Largillière's Portrait of a Lady as Pomona revealed references to the collection of Jules Strauss. The Jewish banker had apparently been forced to sell the painting under duress in 1941 in Paris, where it was acquired for the National Bank of the Reich. In 1959 it arrived in Dresden from Berlin. The SKD restituted the work, and it returned to Paris in January 2021.

Material & Technique
Tempera on panel
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
c. 1345
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 3577