The Monuments Men at the Met: Treasures Saved During World War II

The Monuments Men at the Met: Treasures Saved During World War II: Jean Simeon Chardin, Philips Konick, Claude Monet, Thomas de Keyser, Giovanni di Paolo, Abraham van Beyeren, David Teniers, Gustav Klimt, Jan van Goyen
As well they should, a number of art museums are seeking to increase public interest by arranging tours, virtual or otherwise, of works in their collection relevant to the new feature film, The Monuments Men.

These can be works either recovered, or preemptively protected from the Nazi’s attempt to accumulate — and potentially destroy — much of the cultural heritage of Europe during WWII.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has created a tour itinerary of relevant works in their collection. The museum’s relationship to the events in Europe is tied to James Rorimer, a member of the Monuments Men team who later became the Met’s director.

As always, for those of us who can’t conveniently stop by the Met to view the works in person, the great advantage of the Met’s website is their provision of access to high-resolution images of most of the works featured.

(Images above: Jean Siméon Chardin, Philips Konick, Claude Monet, Thomas de Keyser, Giovanni di Paolo, Abraham van Beyeren, David Teniers, Gustav Klimt, Jan van Goyen)

7 Replies to “The Monuments Men at the Met: Treasures Saved During World War II”

  1. I’m not bemused by Giovanni di Paolo del Grazia/ or del Poggio painting. Would a child put its foot in a crawling Zoroaster magus’s mouth? I don’t think so.
    The Gospel narrative omits to mention the number of the Magi, and there is no certain tradition in this matter. Some Fathers speak of three Magi; they are very likely influenced by the number of gifts. In the Orient, tradition favours twelve. Early Christian art is no consistent witness:
    A painting in the cemetery of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus shows two;
    one in the Lateran Museum, three;
    one in the cemetery of Domitilla, four;
    a vase in the Kircher Museum, eight!

    At least,Klimt painted two Mäda’s. First the daughter, Mäda Gertrude Primavesi in 1912, afterwards the mother, Mäda Eugenia Primavesi, née Butschek in 1913-’14.

  2. A wonderful full documentary , and book, is ‘The Rape of Europa’.

    Also, during WWI the Germans had it written in their truce with England ‘when’ they won that a condition of peace was for England to renounce all claims to Shakespeare – he was to be their genius. Literary theft in such an extreme I can’t quite even understand the thinking.

    1. The Nazis had delusions of being members of a “master race” — superior to the rest of humanity in all respects — and desperately wanted to rewrite history to support their claims. Rewriting, or selectively erasing, the history of culture was part of that.

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