Bristol Museum's Renoir painting can stay in the city

A Renoir painting in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery that was sold at a Nazi auction can remain in the institution's collection.

The work belonged to Jakob and Rosa Oppenheimer - who ran an art and jewellery dealership named the Margraf Group in Berlin.

Bristol Museum Renoir
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery received the work in 1999

The couple were forced to close their business and sign over their stock to the Nazis in 1935. They fled to France soon after.  

The Margraf Group has been attempting to reclaim the couple's stolen treasures. However, the Renoir is believed to have been sold to pay off debts and was not among the many works forcibly taken by the Nazis.

The painting was brought to Bristol by a Leopold Muller in 1939. He left it to the museum when he died in 1999.

A report by the Spoliation Advisory Panel, which addresses claims for artworks stolen by the Nazis for the UK, states: "In all the circumstances, the panel finds that the moral strength of Margraf's claim is insufficient to justify a recommendation that the painting be transferred or that an ex-gratia payment be made."

We have a handwritten letter signed by Renoir for sale.

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