National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
Frans Snyders, Still Life with Fruit and Games Frans Snyders
Flemish, 1579 - 1657
Still Life with Fruit and Game, 1615/1620
oil on canvas, .945 x 1.430 m (37 1/4 x 55 1/4 in.)

Provenance

Mme Edgard Stern, Paris; [1]Baron von Poellnitz, Schloss Aschbach, Bamberg; sold c. 1968 to (Herman Shickman, New York); gift 1990 to NGA.

[1] Extensive research by the National Gallery of Art, aided by information provided by the Stern family, has indicated that this painting was confiscated by the ERR in 1941 with others from the Stern collection in Paris (see ERR inventory card ST 11, National Archives RG260/Property Division/Box 21, copies NGA curatorial files). The painting was then taken by Hermann Goering from the Jeu de Paume in Paris on 3 May 1941 (Liste des am 3. Mai 1941 von Herrn Reichmarschall Göring erworbenen Kunstwerke, no. 13, ERR code ST11, National Archives RG 239/Entry 73/Box 76, copy NGA curatorial files; also Liste der für des Reichsmarchalls Hermann Göring abgegebenen Kunstgegenstände, 20 Oktober 1942, no. 188, National Archives RG 239/Entry 73/Box 78, copy NGA curatorial files). On 17 June 1941 Goering traded the painting to Karl Haberstock in exchange for a Makart Bacchanale; Haberstock claimed in 1945 to have given the picture to von Poellnitz (OSS Consolidated Interrogation Report #2, The Goering Collection, 15 September 1945, p. 147, National Archives RG 226/Entry 99/Box 105, copy NGA curatorial files). Baron von Poellnitz was a Luftwaffe officer and friend of Haberstock, and acted as his representative in Paris during the war. At the end of the war, Haberstock and Von Poellnitz were detained at his castle outside Bamberg; both testified against Goering at Nuremberg. After their release from custody they resumed their art dealing activities. The Snyders painting is reproduced in Hundert Bilder aus der Galerie Haberstock Berlin, Munich, 1967, no. 21.

Some of the archival documentation concerning this picture is confused. For example the Stern picture taken by Goering from the Jeu de Paume is clearly referred to as by Snyders in records cited above; however the post-war claims submitted by the Stern family to the Allies do not include any paintings by Snyders. The only still life on their claim list, which includes over 90 art objects, most of which are listed by artist name, is an Ecole Hollandaise, Nature morte. (French claim file F-193, Mme Edgard Stern, National Archives RG 260/Box 743, copy NGA curatorial files. See also Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre 1939-1945, published 1947, volume II, p. 243, no. 5442).

Records from the Haberstock Gallery describe the Snyders in the Goering exchange as a Stilleben mit Hasen (Still Life with Hares), which suggests that it is not the NGA painting. The NGA painting does not depict hares; it includes a deer, a squirrel, and several dead birds. (Invoice from Haberstock to Goering, dated 17 June 1941, National Archives RG 260/Box 447, copy NGA curatorial files). A photographic negative of the National Gallery painting was discovered among the Haberstock archival materials available at the Kunstsammlung der Stadt Augsburg. It is labelled #5045 but gives no information about Haberstock's acquisition of the picture. There is an "ST" written on the stretcher of the picture; however this is somewhat confusing as it does not include a numeral, and the Nazi system was alphanumeric (ST1, ST2, etc.). Despite these contradictions, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the Gallery painting was the one taken from the Stern collection.