Gazette Drouot logo print

Dorville Sale: French Government Rejects Restitution

Published on , by Vincent Noce

Contrary to the beliefs of several media outlets, the French government has rejected the principle of restituting works coming from the wartime sales of the Dorville collection.

This oil on canvas by Camille Pissarro, Une place à la Roche-Guyon (A Square in La... Dorville Sale: French Government Rejects Restitution

This oil on canvas by Camille Pissarro, Une place à la Roche-Guyon (A Square in La Roche-Guyon), 1867 (50 x 61 cm/19.7 x 24 in) was lot no. 362 of the sale of Armand Dorville's estate in Nice in June 1942. It was purchased by the Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1961 from the A. Tooth Gallery, London. On April 14, the president of the Berlin museums, Hermann Parzinger, accepted the principle of "restitution", while suggesting an arrangement with the family whereby the painting could remain in the museum.

The announcement by French Premier Minister Jean Castex concerning the State's proposal to return 12 works, held in national collections, to the heirs of Armand Isaac Dorville, nearly 80 years after the sale of his estate, has caused some confusion in the French press. The Premier Minister has in fact endorsed the recommendation of the CIVS (Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation), which clearly rejected the principle of restitution, considering that the sale of the estate in 1942 "was not spoliatory". The controversy sparked by this iconic case is thus far from resolved. At the time of the German invasion, the lawyer and art lover Armand Dorville took refuge in his Chateau de Cubjac, in Périgord, where he died in 1941. His collection, consisting of furniture, paintings, drawings, sculptures, books and manuscripts, was put up for auction. Under the title "A Parisian Art Lover's Collection", the main part, sold between June 24 and 27, 1942 at the Savoy Hotel in Nice, included 450 works by Bonnard, Vuillard, Renoir , Manet, Signac , Caillebotte , Daumier, Degas , Valloton, Delacroix , Rodin , Carpeaux and an artist he particularly…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.
To discover more, Subscribe
Gazette Drouot logo
Already a subscriber?
Log in