The $30 Million painting once stolen by Nazis

Mekella Mcfarland

More stories from Mekella Mcfarland

Stolen Artifacts
January 5, 2022

 Iconoclasm is when governments systematically destroy art. Which is exactly what the Nazis did. Many people know that the Nazis took jewelry, money, and art away from Jews as they forced them into concentration camps. However, few know that one of the artworks stolen was by the famous painter Van Gogh.  

   The watercolor painting “Meules de blé” which has been described by Christies, an art auction company. 

“Picturing three towering wheat stacks that dwarf the neighboring women” 

  The painting was owned by Van Gogh’s brother Theo who then sold it to Max Merioswki, a Jewish industrialist.  

As the Jews were getting persecuted Merioswki had to fled, sold the painting and after a few owners it ended up in Paris, where an art collector Alexandrine. Soon the Nazis would take control of. Christies reported on the piece.  

“With the outbreak of the Second World War, Alexandrine fled to Switzerland. Her art collection in Paris, including Van Gogh’s Meules de blé, was confiscated by the Nazi regime during the Occupation.” 

The artwork has not been seen by the public since 1905. Now Christine’s plan to sell for around 30 million dollars.  

  This iconic piece of art is not the only one that has been stolen by Nazis. Many famous and well-established artists faced the same fate. Vanity Fair did a reporting on these stolen works.  

As Hitler came to power, in 1933, he declared “merciless war” on “cultural disintegration.” He ordered an aesthetic purge of the entartete Künstler, the “degenerate artists,” and their work, which to him included anything that deviated from classic representationalism: not only the new Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Fauvism, futurism, and objective realism, but the salon-acceptable Impressionism of van Gogh and Cézanne and Matisse and the dreamy abstracts of Kandinsky” 

   Although Van Gogh’s piece will finally be seen by the public there are many pieces confiscated by Nazis that are still not found.