Johann Konrad Seekatz’s St. Philip Baptising A Servant Of Queen Kandaki, stolen from a Warsaw museum by the Nazis in World War II, will be handed back to Poland. On February 12th, the painting will return to the National Museum in Warsaw.
Johann Conrad Seekatz, St. Philip Baptising A Servant Of Queen Kandaki, photo: courtesy of The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
The painting, which presents a characteristic theme from The Acts of the Apostles, was in the possession of the National Museum in Warsaw. Its author - Johann Konrad Seekatz (1719-1768) was one of the most prominent German painters of the 18th century.
The work came from the collection of Piotr Fiorentini (1791-1858), Polish officer, clerk and collector, who left his collection to the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The painting was then donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, now the National Museum in Warsaw.
The fate of the painting during the war is still unknown. One can only assume that it remained in the museum until 1944. After the German occupation of Warsaw, the destruction and looting of artworks began. Many monuments were destroyed or stolen, among them the work of Seekatz.
The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, thanks to the cooperation of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations , will regain the lost painting. The Ministry also maintains the national database of war losses, which now includes nearly 63 thousand paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. The list include works by artists such as Rubens, Rembrant, Durer, Wyspiański and Matejko.
Currently, the Ministry is working to regain 46 objects.
Źródło: mkidn.gov.pl, opr. MG, 7.02.2014, translated by Katarzyna Maksimiuk, 7.02.2014