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European Art
Artist: The Brunswick Monogrammist, Flemish, active ca. 1525–50

A Brothel Scene

ca. 1540

Oil on panel

37.5 × 44.5 cm (14 3/4 × 17 1/2 in.)
Bequest of Dr. Herbert and Monika Schaefer
2020.37.8
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Flemish
Period: 
16th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Count Karol Lanckoronski (1848–1933), Vienna, by 1918; by inheritance to Count Anton Lanckoronski (1893–1956), Vienna [see note 1]; confiscated by the Gestapo (as 16th Century Dutch Master, ‘Tavern Scene’) (A.L. 159) [see note 2]; transferred to Schloss Steyersberg, Warth, Austria; transferred to Schloss Thürntal, Fels am Wagram, Austria, about 1942; transferred to Schloss Immendorf, Immendorf, Austria, November 2, 1942 (kiste nr. A.L. 5); returned to Schloss Thürntal, Fels am Wagram, Austria; transferred to the salt mines at Altaussee, Austria, about February 1944; recovered by the Monuments Fine Arts and Archives Section of the United States Army (Aussee no. 425) [see note 3]; transferred to the Central Collecting Point, Munich, June 24, 1945 (MCCP no. 502); released to the United States Forces, Austria, Kremsmünster Abbey, Kremsmünster, Austria, October 27, 1945 (Kr no. 71); transferred to the Bundesdenkmalamt, Schloss Ebenzweier, Altmünster, Austria, by December 15, 1946; restituted to Count Anton Lanckoronski (1893-1956), Geneva, October 6, 1947 [see note 4]; by inheritance to Countess Karolina Lanckoronska (1898-2002) Fribourg, Switzerland and Rome; sold to Heim Gallery, London, 1980; Dr. Herbert Schaefer (1910–2011) and Mrs. Monika Schaefer (died 2019), Malaga, Spain, by 1981; on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1981–2019; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2019

Note 1: A Polish noble of Galician descent, Count Karol Lanckoronski assembled one of the most important private collections in Austria of Italian, German, French and Dutch paintings. Because the Lanckoronski family claimed Polish citizenship, the art collection was subject to expropriation during the Nazi period, and in 1939 it was confiscated by the Gestapo. For a full history on the fate of the Lanckoronski collection during and after the Nazi era, see Winiewicz-Wolska (2014), pp. 341 – 403

Note 2: Works of art confiscated from the Lanckoronski collection were earmarked for Adolf Hitler’s Führermuseum, in Linz, Austria, a museum which was to showcase the best of Western artistic production. Others were coveted by Hitler’s second in command, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. Archival documentation from the Bundesdenkmalamt (Federal Monuments Authority Austria), records the movements of A Brothel Scene as the painting’s destination was debated, and it was transferred from one depot to another. (BDA, Vienna, Restitution Material, K26, PM Lanckoronski)

Note 3: The Central Collecting Point, Munich, was a depot used by the MFAA to process and redistribute cultural property confiscated by the Nazis or displaced between the years 1933–1945; while the MFAA identified Count Anton Lanckoronski as the former owner of A Brothel Scene, because he no longer resided in Austria, the painting was released to the custody of the United States Air Force in Austria. Archival records from the BDA and National Records and Archives Administration, College Park, Maryland, document A Brothel Scene’s movements during the post-war period, as well as Count Lanckoronski’s efforts to recover the painting and secure its return to his new home in Geneva. (BDA, Vienna, Restitution Material, K26, PM Lanckoronski; NARA, College Park, Maryland, Microfilm Publication M1926, Record Group 260, Roll 0001, Records of the Reparations and Restitutions Branch of the U.S. Allied Commission for Austria (USACA), 1945–1950, Austrian Claims, no. 15)

Note 4: Although the Lanckoronski collection was restituted to Count Lanckoronski in October 1947, the Austrian government barred its export and the objects were deposited at Schloss Hohenems on the Austrian border with Switzerland. A fire broke out in the palace on March 28, 1950, and a year later export permission was finally granted to transfer the collection to Switzerland. (as above Winiewicz-Wolska, 2014, p. 400)

Bibliography: 

Matthias Ubl, Der Braunschweiger Monogrammist (Petersburg, Germany: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2014), 230, 370–74, no. XV.1, fig. 6.42.

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 such records is ongoing.