Jacoba van Heemskerck

Landschaft, Bild I, um 1914

Gemälde von Jacoba van Heemskerck, Öl auf Leinwand, 81 x 100 cm

Jacoba van Heemskerck (1876–1923), Landschaft, Bild I, um 1914

© Copyright has expired, Repro: Kai-Annett Becker
Genre Painting
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
Size 81 x 100 cm
Signature signed bottom right: Jacoba v. Heemskerck

Research status

Provenance is established. The work does not qualify as a cultural asset extorted due to Nazi persecution.

© Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

A long road

Fritz Schön (1881–?) was an entrepreneur from Werdau in Saxony with international connections. In Berlin he hobnobbed with supporters of young art and he was an early collector of Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger.

In 1919, at Ernst Arnold’s gallery in Dresden, he decided to buy “Landscape, Picture I”. The painting was in the show “Der Sturm: Expressionists, Futurists, Cubists”, sent on tour by the Berlin gallery “Der Sturm” and its legendary owner Herwarth Walden.

Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie

Fritz Schön (3rd from right) at a Berlin Secession banquet, photograph by Erich Salomon. At the same table: Julius Meier-Graefe, Gertrud Simon, Eugen Spiro, Annemarie Meier-Graefe, Elisabeth Spiro, c. 1929

Fritz Schön (3rd from right) at a Berlin Secession banquet, photograph by Erich Salomon. At the same table: Julius Meier-Graefe, Gertrud Simon, Eugen Spiro, Annemarie Meier-Graefe, Elisabeth Spiro, c. 1929

© Ullstein bild - Erich Salomon

“Dear Herwarth,

Thank you for your letter of 3 May. Good that Picture I has sold in Dresden.”

Jacoba van Heemskerck to her Berlin agent Herwarth Walden, Wageningen, 9 May 1919

Buchumschlag mit Grafik und Titel „Jacoba van Heemskerck, Sturm- Bilderbuch VII", Druck, Pappe

Jacoba van Heemskerck was one of the top artists managed by the gallery “Der Sturm” at Potsdamer Strasse 134. She exhibited there regularly from 1914. After her premature death in 1923, Herwarth Walden dedicated the seventh volume of his Sturm-Bilderbücher to her.

Sturm-Bilderbuch VII. Jacoba van Heemskerck, 1924.

© Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte

In 1931 Fritz Schön became a Swiss citizen and lived in Ascona, not far from Monte Verità. Ascona was a magical place for the art community in the Weimar Republic. People settled there on a quest for spirituality and a life free of possessions. So in 1929 Schön had left 929 works from his collection at Ferdinand Möller’s gallery on Schöneberger Ufer in Berlin and deposited others with the Nationalgalerie. He would have been happy to sell, had the price been right. But as Ferdinand Möller (1882–1956) could not afford such sums, most of these works remained in storage in Berlin for many years, among them “Landscape, Picture I”.

Brief, Schreibmaschine auf Papier und handschriftliche Notizen

Price enquiries for museum-quality works. Letter from Fritz Schön in Ascona to Ferdinand Möller, 23 November 1931

Letter from Fritz Schön in Ascona to Ferdinand Möller, 23 November 1931

© Repro: Berlinische Galerie
Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie: Gebäudefassade der Galerie Ferdinand Möller

The Ferdinand Möller Gallery, Schöneberger Ufer, c. 1930

The Ferdinand Möller Gallery, Schöneberger Ufer, c. 1930

© unknown; Repro: Berlinische Galerie

“If these things fetch such low prices, it is better not to think of selling but to continue taking pleasure in them when one sees them now and then at Mr Möller’s. It would be even better if friends could ‘use’ them to hang on the wall and one could catch a glimpse of them occasionally.”


Fritz Schön to Ferdinand Möller, Ascona, 10 June 1936

Just before the exhibition “Degenerate Art” opened in Munich on 19 July 1937, a watershed in the defamation of modern art under the Nazi regime, the works entrusted to Möller were sent back to the Schön family.

The collector left Switzerland, probably when the war broke out, and went first to the United States and later to Canada. In October 1942, his son Robert left them to be sold at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal. He had probably first made contact with its manager, the Jewish art dealer Max Stern (1904–1987) in exile from Düsseldorf, in London in 1938. Like Fritz Schön, Stern had loaned works for the Exhibition of Twentieth Century German Art at the New Burlington Galleries, a plucky testimony to the quality of German Modernism and an open challenge to Nazi art policy.

Buchumschlag mit Grafik und Titel, Druck, Papier

[Translate to English:] Eine wichtige Adresse für moderne Kunst in Kanada. Die Fassade der Dominion Gallery in Montreal auf einem Katalogeinband

[Translate to English:] Katalog, Dominion Gallery, Montreal, March 1972

© Back of the catalogue: Sorel Etrog: sculpture, drawings [exhibition]; March 1972 / Dominion Gallery, Montreal. Rare Book Division Max Stern Collection, Universitätsbibliothek McGill University, Montreal
Aufkleber auf Bilderrahmen, mit Angaben zum Kunstwerk

[Translate to English:] Ein auf dem Keilrahmen erhaltener Aufkleber der Dominion Gallery

© Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

In 1948 Max Stern finally sold “Landscape, Picture I” as “Mountain Landscape” to the Canadian entrepreneur William Hanbury Budden. By 1974 the painting had been returned to the Dominion Gallery. In 1978 Stern sold it again, this time back to the Netherlands, where the work had been created 65 years earlier. Here “Landscape, Picture I” was discovered by the Hamburg gallery Brockstedt, well aware that the fledgling Berlinische Galerie was taking an interest in the work of forgotten artists.

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