(JTA) — A 16th century Renaissance painting looted by the Nazis from the collection of a German Jewish couple who lived in the Netherlands was returned to their grandson.
The painting, “Portrait of John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony” by the German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, was looted from the collection of Fritz Gutmann and his wife, who were killed in the Theresienstadt and Auschwitz death camps during the Holocaust.
The painting had been recommended for Hitler’s personal use, according to a list of such works unearthed by Simon Goodman, the Gutmann’s grandson, who continues to search for his grandparent’s collection. It was the last mention he found of the looted painting, until a few months ago.
Late last year Christie’s auction house was contacted by an unnamed art collector who believed he might be in possession of the work, the Associated Press reported.
Goodman of Los Angeles and the painting were reunited in New York a few weeks ago. It will go on the Christie’s auction block on April 19. Christie’s estimates the price of the painting at $1 million to $2 million.
“It’s wonderful when you find something that has survived. I’m touching something that my grandfather loved,” he told the AP.
Goodman said that the collector who had the painting approached the auction house after reading about Goodman’s search for his family’s Nazi-looted art in his book “The Orpheus Clock.”