Dorotheum Auctions Off Restituted Amerling-Paintings from Belvedere

Austrian Press Agency (APA) (07/02/2008)

Dorotheum Auctions Off Restituted Amerling-Paintings from Belvedere

Significant Biedermeier work, “Girl in a Straw Hat,” (1985) is to bring a six-figure sum. Ernst Gotthilf was forced to sell it before fleeing – Auction scheduled for October 15

Vienna – On June 1, 2007 the Council on Restitution recommended twelve works to be restituted. Among those paintings was Friedrich von Amerling’s painting, “Girl in a Straw Hat,” (1835) which to this day continues to adorn the inventory of Belvedere. Before fleeing in 1938, architect Ernst von Gotthilf was forced to sell his entire art collection; Belvedere acquired the Amerling painting at an auction. On October 15 the highly valued Biedermeier painting again came under the hammer. Gotthilf’s heirs have entrusted the restituted work to the Dorotheum to put up for sale. The Austrian Press Agency was informed that the guess is that the work will bring a “six-figure number.”

The original owner, Ernst von Gotthilf, builder of the Bankverein on the Schottenring as well as Palais Fanto, emigrated to London in 1938 due to persecution by the NS regime. Before fleeing, he was forced to liquidate his art collection. He tried selling other works, among them, “Girl in a Straw Hat,” to the Neue Galerie, by putting it up for commission, but through auction house Weinmüller, it finally ended up in Belvedere. Among the paintings from the 19th century which were offered at the fall auction, “Girl in a Straw Hat” was deemed one of the “most significant works of Viennese Biedermeier paintings,” particularly when taking also into consideration its long absence from the art market.