Auction house Neumeister auctions Carl Spitzwegs Justitia | culture

Ironically, in the case of the "Justitia" was it with the right things. Over 80 years it took before this outstanding work of the Munich painter Carl Spitzweg

Auction house Neumeister auctions Carl Spitzwegs Justitia | culture

Ironically, in the case of the "Justitia" was it with the right things. Over 80 years it took before this outstanding work of the Munich painter Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885) was given back to the rightful heirs. If you are on 6. May be auctioned in the auction house Neumeister, this is a victory of justice.

Of the Odyssey, which has seen the picture, telling the back of the painting. The wooden frame is covered with markings of the interim owners. There are documents for the darkest Chapter of German history – and in many areas a lack of working of these years. When it comes to restitute works of art, that is, those of the national socialists persecuted the former owners or their descendants to refund, shudder feel every human being with Justice. The "Justitia" by Spitzweg is an example of this. Of all places.

+ One of Carl Spitzwegs most political works, "The eye of the law (Justitia)" of 1857, which will be auctioned in the case of Neumeister.©Photo: Mitko

If the painting, "will be auctioned in The eye of the law (Justitia)" this Wednesday at the Munich art auction house Neumeister (due to the Corona-restrictions, one and a half months later than planned), then this is the end of an incredible story. "Until then, it's been a long way," says Rainer Schuster, at Neumeister, head of the Department of painting until a future 20. Century, Miniatures, graphics, and books.

1857 manufactures Spitzweg the work. However, in the case of potential buyers, he can end up with the Subject. "The viewers will have recognized the political explosiveness is hidden in this painting," says Schuster. It is one of the most typical point, pictures of the artist. Spitzweg plays quite blatantly on the surveillance state that has formed in the German-speaking countries after the Revolution of 1848 out. If you look closely, discovered behind the sculpture, in the shadow of the headquarters building, a representative of the vigilantes, who observed us, the viewers skeptical. As if we wanted to overthrow the Justice and peace soon from the Base, which is obviously happening already. "She has a significant break," explains Schuster. "This fall, the scale is probably broken. And sense of humour fully in place, the blindfold.“ The latter is a Gimmick, because that's not happening a stone sculpture of course. "This Justice has a life of its own. She pushed her blindfold, apparently, even to the top. This shimmer between the real and the surreal makes Spitzweg incredibly modern.“

The Jewish owners of the image, it had to be forced

And hugely political. Here justice is denounced being, the Only thing that still works, that seems to be the sword, and will be addressed with the. After Spitzwegs death and a re-sale, the painting was taken to Leo Bendel, a Jewish merchant from Berlin. After the takeover of the national socialists Bendel was discharged. After he and his wife sold their possessions, including the "Justitia". Both wanted to create a base in the heart of Vienna to build a new life. Nothing came of it. Shortly after their arrival there, Leo Bendel was transported in September 1939 to Buchenwald, where he died in March 1940. Perfidious irony of history: the Munich Galerie Heinemann, acquired a year after the Bendel's sale forced, of all things, Maria Almas-Dietrich, the plant – the purchaser of Hitler for the planned "führer Museum" in Linz. Date of purchase: 19. April 1938. The day before the "führer's" birthday.

for Many years, the heirs had to the image

Hitler's fight, a prestigious project that was never realized. And so the image came up instead of in a Museum after the war, in the "Central Collecting Point" that the Americans had set up. "Here, lots of art objects should be assigned to their original owners. This is obviously not succeeded in the case of this painting,“ explains Schuster. What could not be the rightful owner returned, came into Federal possession. In the case of the "Justitia" was the name of that: in the Villa Hammerschmidt. From 1961 to 2006, she hung out in the Bonn residence of the Federal President. Eight different long terms in office as received incumbent of the Heinrich Lübke, to Horst Köhler, under the eyes of anything other than the blind goddess of state guests. Without knowing what a heavy heritage as hung up on the wall.

The image could be managed to a million-record crack

in 2007, the historian Monika Tatzkow finally, the proof that it is the work of a "Nazi persecution removed the work of art from Jewish-owned" conditionally. "At that time, there were communications from the first press, it would be restituted," says Schuster. "However, the heiress, the niece of Bendel, passed away. And due to various bureaucratic hurdles, it took again the twelve years, until the picture came in the fall of 2019 finally back in the rightful hands.“

In the elaborately designed catalogue for the auction it says: "estimate on request". And also the art expert does not wish to specify a sum. Nevertheless: "I wouldn't put it past this painting that perhaps even the in-house record." Located at Neumeister, and has already sold a large number of Spitzweg-images, of EUR 1.2 million (excluding buyer's premium) was achieved for the "Eternal bridegroom". World record for a work by the Munich artist. Schuster would the members of your choice. So at the end, however, the justice wins.


The auction is on 5. May, 16 o'clock, jewellery, at 6. May 14 at old art; and thereafter to 18 at the special auction of Spitzweg-works. Live Streaming

Updated Date: 22 May 2020, 03:34

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