Dranetting Vermeer

April 27th, 2013

Before the outbreak of World War I, Adolf Hitler was a practicing artist and on two occasions was denied admission to the Academy for Art Studies in Vienna. It is estimated that during WWII he had plundered over 750,000 artworks. Among his most prized possessions were Vermeer’s The Art of Painting and the Astronomer. Hitler had not only intended to display the stolen works of art in the monumental Führermuseum in the Austrian city of Linz, but to destroy all the “degenerate” works he despised. The Astonomer, which was meant to be the focal point of the Führermuseum, still bears a black swastika stamped on its back.

In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

Dragnetting the web I came by the image above, which I had never seen before, of American soldiers recovering the Astronomer. For more information, read, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History

Leave a Reply