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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Watercolour No. 2

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Watercolour No. 2

Artist/ Creator
Wassily Kandinsky
Title
Watercolour No. 2
Year
1911
Technique
Paper, watercolour, gouache, pencil
Size
316 x 476 mm
Inventorynumber
A 4029
Category
Drawings

Museum

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Conclusion

How and when this work came to the museum between 1923 and 1954 is no longer known.

Explanation

The inventory card states that the watercolour was found in January 1954 in Mr de Vries’s safe (‘ijzeren kast depot’). How and when it got there is no longer known.

During the war, Paul Citroen and Willem Sandberg, then director of Stedelijk Museum, were in close contact. In 1923, Paul Citroen had informed Kandinsky that he owned 14 of his works, including Watercolour 2, acquired from Der Sturm in Berlin in 1919-1920. On the reverse of the work, Paul Citroen wrote: ‘Aquarell 2’.

Under the header ‘Erwin [Blumenfeld] und ich’ in Paul Citroen’s accounts for 1919 is an item number 6: Kandinsky’s ‘Aquarell II’, with a comment: ‘Aquarell Weimar 1000.-’. In pencil directly beneath is the word ‘Museum’. This indicates that the painting may have gone directly from Citroen to the museum, although this cannot be confirmed due to the inadequate records.

Reconstruction origin

1912 <> ?
H. Goltz (art dealer), Munich

Museum inventory; Barnett, Vivian Endicott, Kandinsky: watercolours, catalogue raisonné, 1992-1994. I, p. 269

? <> 1919/20
Der Sturm (art dealer), Berlin

Museum inventory; Paul Citroen archive, accounts; MNAM (Centre Pompidou), Fonds Vassily Kandinsky, letter, Weimar, 26-10-1923, Paris

1919/20 <> ? i.i.g 1923-10
Paul Citroen (art dealer), Amsterdam

Museum inventory; Paul Citroen archive, accounts; MNAM (Centre Pompidou), Fonds Vassily Kandinsky, letter, Weimar, 26-10-1923, Paris; H. van Rheeden et al., Paul Citroen: kunstenaar, docent, verzamelaar, Hannema – de Stuers Fundatie, Heino, 1994, cat. no. IX, p. 33

? <> 1954-01
Found in the museum

Museum inventory

1954-01 <> present day
Stedelijk Museum