In the 17th century, painter Nicolas Poussin embraced Classicism in his art, and in doing so created a host of works people are still moved by centuries later. Both during his lifetime and after it, his work intersected with history in unexpected ways, including a pair of works commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu. More recently, one of his most distinctive paintings spent decades unaccounted for — until earlier this year, that is.
The painting in question is titled Lot with His Two Daughters Serving Him a Drink. And, as is the case with far too many works of art in the last century, its decades-long disappearance is the result of the painting having been looted by the Nazis during World War II.
An article by Tessa Solomon at ARTnews explains just how the painting was restored to its rightful owners after so many years. In 2020, Solomon explains, the heirs to the painting searched a database of property that had been looted by the Nazis in France during the war. The heirs filed a request seeking a return, at which point the Italian government became involved.
The police were able to trace the painting to the home of an antiques dealer who had purchased it in 2017. There, it was recovered; Solomon reports that it’s since been returned to its rightful owners. It’s one more action completed in a much larger effort of restitution.
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