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#421

Portrait of a Woman with Braided Blond Hair

Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640) Workshop | Painter

Material & Technique
Oil on oak panel
Museum
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
Dating
c. 1620
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 964 A

The painting, which had been part of Dresden’s collection since 1747, was stored in Albrechtsburg Castle in Meissen and then in the railroad tunnel near Rottwerndorf (Pirna district) during the Second World War. From July 1945, Dresden’s museum holdings were transported to the Soviet Union. Although there was initially no prospect of the art being returned, in March 1955 the Soviet Council of Ministers unexpectedly announced that the paintings from Dresden would be released. Prior to the return, a representative selection was exhibited in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow from May to August 1955. The first exhibition of the paintings since 1939 attracted 1.2 million visitors.

Before being transported back to Dresden, each of the over 1,000 works was given its own passport. The so-called painting passports documented the condition of the works in Russian and German, as well as the restoration measures carried out in the USSR. The major works from Dresden’s gallery, including this portrait, were first exhibited in the National Gallery in Berlin from November 1955 to April 1956. The Sempergalerie was officially reopened on 3 June 1956 and celebrated with splendor in the GDR and USSR.

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