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Open Content Program
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The Birmingham Museum of Art
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- Titles Entrée d'un gave (Source of a Mountain Stream) (Proper)
- Artist Gustave Courbet, French, 1819 - 1877
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 17 7/8 x 23 1/4 in. (45.4 x 59.1 cm) frame: 25 1/8 × 30 3/8 × 2 1/2 in. (63.8 × 77.2 × 6.4 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by the Birmingham Museum of Art Endowment for Acquisitions; Members of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Dr. and Mrs. David Sperling in honor of their friends; Mr. Arthur E. Curl, Jr. in memory of his beloved wife, Donnie; Illges-Chenoweth Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Jack C. Geer; Mr. James E. Simpson; Mr. and Mrs. James A. Livingston, Jr.; Mrs. Evelyn Allen; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Barker, Jr.; and Mr. and Mrs. Harold H. Goings, 1999.60
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Inscription Verso, center stretcher bar, rectangular label: Drs. F.u.P.N. / Zch. / L / C / Nr. 797 Verso, center stretcher bar, label: 8683 Verso, bottom stretcher bar, label: Galerie Rosengart / Luzern Verso, bottom stretcher bar, label: 01801 Verso, stretcher bar, bottom right, label, black ink: G. Courbet 1819-1877 / Le ruisseau Land les Rochet / all 181024 [?] (8683) Verso, stretcher bar, lower left, label: G. COURBET / "Paysage de Jura" 1876 / 59:45, 2 cm Verso, stretcher bar, lower right, black marker: L-B 57 Label reportedly stored in oversized collection report, reproduced in object file, typed label with decorative boarder: Arnold Wiggins & Sons / Picture Frame Makers / Carvers & Gilders, Antique Frames / 4 Bury Street, St James's, London SWIY 6AB / tel 0171 - 925 0195 fax 0171 - 839 6928
- Provenance Anonymous owner, by May 1919 [see note 1]; purchased by Georges Petit (1856-1920) [see note 2]. Moïse Lévy de Benzion (1873-1943), Paris [see note 3]; confiscated by Einsatzstab Rosenberg, December 7, 1940, and held at the Neuschwanstein depot, Germany [see note 4]; on deposit to Walter Andreas Hofer (1893-about 1971), July 12, 1941 [see note 5]; delivered to Hermann Göring (1893-1946), October 20, 1942 [see note 6]; by exchange to dealer Galerie Fischer, Lucerne [see note 7]; purchased by Willi Raeber, Basel [see note 8]; purchased by dealer Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne [see note 9]; purchased by Arthur Stoll (1887-1971), Switzerland, March 13, 1945 [see note 10]; restituted to Paule-Juliette Levi de Benzion, née Rabrassé, Paris and Cairo, by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland based on a legal judgement, December 15, 1948 [see note 11]. Dealer Galerie Fritz Nathan, Zurich, by November 1952 [see note 12]. Possibly dealer New Gallery, New York, by 1961 [see note 13]. Possibly dealer Salander-O’Reilly, 1998 [see note 14]. Private collection, Boston; dealer Artemis Fine Arts, Inc., New York; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, January 11, 1999
1. Auctioned but unsold at Galerie Georges Petit, May 22, 1919, lot 12.
2. An auction report from a newspaper, found in the 1999.60 object file (source unknown), provides “Entree d’un gave (45-59) (d. 5.000) à M. Petit: 7.300.” An annotated auction catalogue at the Institut National d'Histoire de l’Art reads: “[illegible] 5000/7300 / Petit.” Robert Fernier concludes that 1999.60 went unsold at the 1919 auction and was then purchased by Galerie Georges Petit. See Fernier, Robert. La Vie et l'œuvre de Gustave Courbet. Vol. II. Paris: Wildenstein, 1977, no. 1041.
3. The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (E.R.R.) inventory number assigned to 1999.60 is L-B 57. The “L-B” indicates that the painting is from the collection of Levy de Benzion. See National Archives, M1943, Records and photographic prints from the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (E.R.R.), 1940-1945: Appendix 1, List of ERR Alphabetical Codes.
4. E.R.R inventory card: National Archives, M1943, Records and photographic prints from the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (E.R.R.), 1940-1945: Roll 11, L-B 57, “Courbet, Felsschlucht mit Flusslauf.” The December 7, 1940 date of confiscation comes from Göring’s collection inventory: National Archives, M1782, OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-1946: O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit-Consolidated Interrogation Reports, Roll 1, Report No. 2, The Goering Collection: Attachment 5, no. 51: “Liste der für die Sammlung des Reichsmarschalls Hermann Göring abgegebenen Kunstgegenstände,” dated October 20, 1942. This list claims that these works came to Göring from Paris, but pages 130-131 of the same report clarify that Walter Andreas Hofer received the works from Neuschwanstein, not Paris, on July 12, 1941.
5. Hofer was Göring’s principal art agent. For the inventory of works taken by Hofer to give to Göring, see: National Archives, M1946, Records Concerning the Central Collecting Points (“Ardelia Hall Collection”): Munich Central Collecting Point, 1945–1951: Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (E.R.R.), Roll 122: Attachment 52, no. 21.
6. For Göring’s receipt of 1999.60, see: National Archives, M1782, OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-1946: O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit-Consolidated Interrogation Reports, Roll 1, Report No. 2, The Goering Collection: Attachment 5, no. 51: “Liste der für die Sammlung des Reichsmarschalls Hermann Göring abgegebenen Kunstgegenstände,” dated October 20, 1942.
7. For the exchange inventory, see National Archives, M1782, OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-1946: O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit-Consolidated Interrogation Reports, Roll 1, Report No. 2, The Goering Collection: A. Exchange No. 1 - Goering with Fischer of Lucerne, page 130, no. 6.
The Galerie Fischer archives record 1999.60 as “Felsenlandschaft.” The “Liste ‘Verkauf der Impressionisten’ o.A., o.D. [1 S.]” from the Fischer archives is reproduced in Esther Tisa Francini, Anja Heuss, and Georg Kreis. Fluchtgut-Raubgut. Zu¨rich: Chronos, 2001, p. 508.
Goering would acquire paintings with the intention of selling them to generate more funds for other purchases. A letter dated September 26, 1941 from Walter Andreas Hofer to Hermann Goering [translated in M1782 from German] describes several “degenerate” works as “suitable for your collection, partly to be used for exchanges” or “highly welcome as exchange pictures.” National Archives, M1782, OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit Reports, 1945-1946: O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit-Consolidated Interrogation Reports, Roll 1, Report No. 2, The Goering Collection: Attachment 1.
8. The Galerie Fischer archive cited in endnote 5 records the buyer as “Raeber.” A December 10, 1945 report of the Roberts Commission also indicates the buyer as “Willi Raeber”: National Archives M1944, Records of the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas (The Roberts Commission), 1943-1946: Records Relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the Office of Strategic Services, 1940-1946 [A1, Entry 73], Roll 92: Report on Mission to Switzerland, 10 Dec. 1945, Attachment B: Looted Works of Art from Confiscations of Allied Nationals Discovered in Switzerland, no. 6. “Sold to Willi RAEBER of Basel, sold to Galerie ROSENGART of Lucerne; then to Swiss Collector.”
9. See note 6, confirmed by gallery label on stretcher of 1999.60.
10. See note 6. The full name of Arthur Stoll and his date of purchase is provided in Tisa Francini, Heuss, and Kreis, 2001, p. 91. They cite Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, Zürich archives: “SIK, Nachlass Stoll, 3/12, Separatbeilagen. “Courbet.” 6, Rechnung vom 13.3.1945.”
11. Paule-Juliette Levi de Benzion, the recognized heir of Moïse Lévy de Benzion, claimed 1999.60 and others on April 24, 1947 through the Swiss Raubgutprozesse. For more on the legal proceedings, see Thomas Buomberger. Raubkunst-Kunstraub. Zürich: Orell Füssli Verlag, 1998, p. 116-120; and Tisa Francini, Heuss, and Kreis, 2001, p. 376-377 and 381-382. For the court decision, see Archiv Bundesgericht, R 5, Kammer zur Beurteilung von Raubgutklagen, Sitzung i.S. Levi de Benzion gg. Bührle, Fischer, Böniger-Ris, Still, die Firma Ursina, Dubied and Jörin, 1948.
12. Ownership noted in Fernier, 1977, no. 1041. The painting was included in the exhibition Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Plastiken, Galerie Fritz Nathan, Zürich, November 1952, no. 3, as “Le Ruisseau Land les Roches.” A handwritten label on the lower right stretcher bar bears the same title.
13. It is uncertain is 1999.60 was owned by the New Gallery or only included in the exhibition Gustave Courbet, Landscape and Seascape at the New Gallery, New York, October 17, 1961 - November 8, 1961, no. 15.
14. 1999.60 is included in the catalogue for the exhibition Gustave Courbet (1819-1877): Later Paintings. Salander O'Reilly Galleries, New York, January 5, 1998 - February 28, 1998; Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, March 7, 1998 - May 29, 1998, no. 33, ill. The exhibition traveled to Nassau without 1999.60. The catalogue entry for this painting does not mention ownership.