Mr Gurlitt was found to have hoarded more than 1,500 works of art for more
than half a century. Investigators believe that others in the collection may
have also been stolen by the Nazis.
Among the other paintings to be found in his collection was a painting of
Waterloo Bridge in London by Claude Monet. Other paintings of a similar
scene by Monet have sold for more than £5 million.
Woman in a Blue Dress in front of a Fireplace by Henri Matisse
Painted in 1937, Woman in a Blues Dress was purchased by art collector, Paul
Rosenberg abandoned his collection when he fled France in 1940 following the
It was one of 162 works taken from his collection in 1941 by the Einsatzstab
Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), the Nazi organisation dedicated to
appropriating cultural properly during the Second World War.
Art dealer Gustav Rochlitz, later acquired it and in 1947, he was convicted in
France for dealing in Nazi looted art.
In 1950, a gallery in Paris sold the painting to shipping magnate Niels
He has displayed it in his art centre near Oslo, the Henie Onstad Art Centre,
since 1968, but recently agreed to return it to Rosenberg’s descendants.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
The 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt was appropriated by the Nazis. It was
commissioned by Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer.
His wife asked Ferdinand in her will for her husband to donate Klimt’s
portrait of her to be donated to the Austrian State Gallery. She died from
meningitis in 1925.
Her husband fled to Switzerland once the Nazis occupied Austria, and advancing
German forces seized the painting.
Bloch-Bauer designated his nephew and nieces, as the inheritors of his estate.
However, the Austrian government retained ownership of the painting. It was
eventually returned to the Altmann family in 2006, following a protracted
It was then sold at auction for $135 million. This was the highest price of a
painting sold at auction at the time. It is currently on display at Neue Art
Gallery in New York.
The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer
The 1668 painting by Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer passed through several
owners, before being eventually sold to the banker and art collector,
Alphonse James de Rothschild.
After his death, his son Édouard inherited the painting. Nazis seized the
painting from his hotel following the German invasion of France.
The painting was returned to the Rothschilds family after the war and was
acquired by the French state in 1983. It has been exhibited at the Louvre
Amber Room, designed by Andreas Schlüter
Andreas Schlüter was German baroque sculptor and architect that lived at the
end of the 17th century.
He began construction of the Amber Room in 1701, in partnership with Danish
craftsman, Gottfried Wolfram. It was installed in the first King of Prussia,
Friedlich I’s home, the Charlottenburg Palace.
The room was sculpted out of amber, and contained jewels, paintings, and gold.
As it passed through owners, several renovations took place on the Amber Room,
and it eventually measured 55 square meters and contained over six tonnes of
After taking control of Leningrad, the Nazis reached the Amber Room, and they
dismantled it into 27 separate crates and sent it to Königsberg in East
The area was heavily bombed by the Royal Air Force and the Soviet military. It
has never resurfaced.
Some claim that it survived the war, while others believe that it was
destroyed, or hidden in a lost bunker. In 2008, German treasure hunters
claimed to have found the
Amber Room, but this could not be confirmed because of limited access to the
site. A spokesperson for the Amber Room Organisation believes the treasure
was transported to Saalfeld and hidden in an underground mining chamber.
Madonna of Bruges by Michelangelo
The marble sculpture of Mary with a baby Jesus was the only sculpture by
Michelangelo that left Italy during his lifetime, after being bought by
Giovanni and Alessandro Moscheroni in Bruges.
Nazis soldiers looted the sculpture, smuggling it to Germany hidden in
mattresses in a Red Cross truck. It was found two years later in Austria and
returned. Today, it is in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges.