Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of four dealers allowed under the Nazis to buy and sell the modern, or “degenerate,” art, made headlines in 2012 when it was discovered that he had hidden 1,280 paintings, drawings and sketches — believed to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars — in his Munich flat for decades. He passed away this past May with no heirs, and so his personal belongings have slowly been passing over to the executor of his estate. Meanwhile a government task force has been investigating the provenance of the artwork, which are known to have been stolen from museums and extorted from persecuted Jews under the Nazi regime.
People in all communities were outraged, and now a further discovery has been made of a previously unknown Claude Monet that had been hidden in a suitcase that Gurlitt kept with him at the hospital during his final days as was discussed by BBC News. “The work on paper shows a landscape in light blue,” Matthias Henkel, a taskforce member investigating the artwork said in a statement. “An initial look through the Monet catalogue of works indicates that it may have been completed in 1864,” given its similarity to the painting “Vue de Sainte-Adresse” finished that year.
This only adds to the mystery of the discovered art and makes us wonder how much artwork might still exist that Gurlitt has hidden. Outside of the Claude Monet, the artworks in the discovered trove include previously unknown works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Marc Chagall. All of whom are prolific artists, and whose artworks deserve to be displayed and admired.