La colombe chérie (The Pet Dove)

Fragonard, Jean Honoré (1732-1806) | Artist/Maker

When France was occupied in June 1940, Nazi art agents working for the Special Commission gained access to the Parisian art market, which was booming. Those playing an important role in Paris included the art historian Erhard Göpel, or Hildebrand Gurlitt, who procured numerous paintings and prints for the Special Commission without indicating their provenance. This French rococo drawing can be traced back to private collections in Paris until 1931, after which it falls out of sight until its purchase for what was known as the Führermuseum.

Although there is currently no proof that it was seized as a result of Nazi persecution, there are doubts as to whether its acquisition was lawful, as many Jewish collectors in Paris were forced to sell their art. For that reason, the SKD has reported the piece as a found object in the Lost Art database, a record of cultural assets confiscated as a result of Nazi persecution: http://www.lostart.de/EN/Fund/569037

Material & Technique
Brown wash
Second half of the 18th century
Inventory number
C 1944-22