A Banquet in the Ruins of a Temple Artist: Hubert Robert (French, 1733–1808)

1795

European Art

Not on view
Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

unframed: 39 3/8 × 33 7/8 in. (100 × 86 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Dr. Herbert and Monika Schaefer

Accession Number

2020.37.42

Culture
Period

18th century

Classification
Disclaimer

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

Provenance

Provenance

With Wolfgang Luck, Berlin; sold to Dr. Herbert Schaefer (1910–2011), Berlin, 1942 (as unknown 18th Century Master, Banquet in a Temple Hall); with Ingrid Gärtner (née Meyer), Berlin [see note 1]; confiscated by the British Allied Military Authorities, probably at Helmstedt, Germany, April 24–25, 1947 [see note 2]; transferred to the Kulturbehörde, Hamburg, August 8, 1947, and placed on view at the Hamburg Kunsthalle; restituted to Dr. Herbert Schaefer, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and later Malaga, Spain, September 1, 1970 [see note 3] (on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1981–2019); bequeathed by Monika Schaefer (née Winter, died 2019) Winter, Malaga, Spain, to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2019

Note 1: An acquaintance of Dr. Schaefer’s in Berlin, the nature of Gärtner’s acquisition of the Painting is uncertain. According to testimony provided by Gärtner, July 21, 1970, in the restitution claim for the Painting filed with the Hamburg Kulturbehörde (Hamburg Cultural Authority), Dr. Schaefer had entrusted the Painting to her for safekeeping at the end of the war (WGA Landsgericht Hamburg 3 O 412/68). In communication with the Gallery, Dr. Schaefer indicated that he had assumed the Painting was plundered along with other artworks in his collection by Soviet forces at the war’s close. He did not learn of Gärtner’s possession and the subsequent seizure until 1965, when he identified the Painting at the Kunsthalle along with two others (YUAG acc.no. 2001.55.1 and acc.no. 2020.37.45). Dr. Schaefer suggested that the Painting had been stolen from his apartment by Gärtner and another acquaintance, Günter Stumpf, under the guise of the plundering of the period. (The Schaefer Collection, curatorial research file, February 2001)

Note 2: There is further discrepancy as to where the Painting was sequestered by British forces. In archival material of the Kulturbehörde, it is noted that the Painting had been seized from Gärtner by British Allied Military Authorities on a plane destined for Capetown (Kulturbehörde, Hamburg, R 180-20.25). In her testimony, Gärtner states that she had attempted to transfer the Painting to Sweden in a Red Cross transport, but was stopped during an inspection of the bus by British authorities along the border between the British and Russian zones of occupied Germany at Helmstedt (WGA Landsgericht Hamburg 3 O 412/68). Records of the British Allied Military Authority have not been consulted as part of research into the ownership history of the Painting, but it is possible the former narrative was in error. Gärtner was a Swedish national, born in Uppsala, who returned to Sweden after the war. She maintained a permanent residence in Stockholm after this time.

Note 3: Following restitution of the Painting to Dr. Schaefer, it remained on loan to the Hamburg Kunsthalle until it was sent to the Gallery, June 18, 1981.

This work appears on our "Artworks with Nazi-Era Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

architecture, figures (representations)

Subject

banquet

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