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#565

The Art Discussion

Schenau, Johann Eleazar (1737-1806) | Painter

Material & Technique
Oil on canvas
Museum
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Dating
1772
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 3161

The origin of this painting is closely connected with the early post-war period. In the land reform ordered in the Soviet-occupied zone, all agricultural holdings with more than 100 hectares of usable land were expropriated without compensation since September 1945. Also affected were the residential and farm buildings, including their contents. This included the mobile furnishings of castles and manor houses: Art collections, archives, libraries, but also residential furnishings without art value and other personal belongings.

In Saxony alone, 1,155 castles and manor houses were expropriated, and the furniture and art objects were sold or transferred to museums as so-called palace salvage. Since the mid-1990s, more than 1,000 paintings from the Gemäldegalerie's collection have been returned to their former owners or their heirs. For example, almost 40 paintings of Seerhausen Palace (near Riesa) could be identified and restituted thanks to transport lists from the State Land Commission, historical interior photos and labels on the back of the paintings. The painting A Conversation about Art was acquired for the Gemäldegalerie by amicable agreement in 2009.

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