Investigation into the provenance of museum collections in connection with the theft, confiscation and sale of objects under duress between 1933 and 1945.

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Abraham and the Three Angels

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Het bezoek van drie engelen aan Abraham

Abraham and the Three Angels

Artist/ Creator
Lambert Jacobsz.
Title
Abraham and the Three Angels
Year
1628
Technique
Oil on panel
Size
59 x 81,5 cm
Inventorynumber
S1977-004
Category
Paintings

Museum

Fries Museum

Conclusion

Little is known about the Nicoll collection, to which this painting belonged before it was acquired by Dienststelle Mühlmann. It is unclear who Nicoll was and from whom Nicoll acquired the work.

Explanation

Dr Kajetan Mühlmann, from whom the department derived its name, was the first person appointed by the German regime to buy up art in the Netherlands. He arrived in The Hague on 15 May 1940 and was commissioned by Rijkscommissaris Seys-Inquart to find and purchase art. Informants provided information about valuable art privately owned by Jews. His department bought up thousands of paintings and objects, sometimes under duress, and sold them on. Purchasers included leading Nazis, such as Hitler and Göring, as well as other German collectors, auction houses and museums. Mühlmann acquired this painting from a certain Nicoll. The provenance ‘Nicoll, Paris’ may refer to Madame Jaremtchenko (the report of Mühlmann’s hearings after the war specifically states ‘called Nicole’), secretary to Joseph Mühlmann (Kajetan’s stepbrother) who had an office in a hotel in Paris.

Reconstruction origin

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Private collection, Paris

RKD Visual Documentation no. 540

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Nicoll (collection), Paris

SNK archive no. 1047; NIOD archive no. 281/123

Before 1943-12-15
Dienststelle Mühlmann, The Hague

SNK archive no. 1047; Bundesarchiv Koblenz B323/200; NIOD archive no. 281/123

1943-12-15
Adolf Weinmüller (auction), Vienna/Munich

RKD Visual Documentation no. 540, 800; Bundesarchiv Koblenz B323/200; NIOD archive no. 281/123; see A. Weinmüller cat., Vienna, 15 December 1943, no. 622 (ill.)

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Wilpert, Munich

SNK archive no. 1047; NIOD archive no. 281/123

1976-09-25
Arnold (auction), Frankfurt am Main

RKD Visual Documentation no. 540; see Arnold cat., Frankfurt, 25 September 1976, p. 45 (ill.)

After 1976-09-25 <> 1977-04-01
A. Strauss (collection), Frankfurt am Main

Museum inventory

1977-04-01
Purchased by the museum from A. Strauss

Museum inventory

1977-04-01 <> present day
Fries museum