Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
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Open Content Program
Digital Media Department
The Birmingham Museum of Art
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- Titles Entrée d'un gave (Source of a Mountain Stream) (Proper)
- Artist Gustave Courbet, French, 1819 - 1877
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 17 7/8 x 23 1/4 in. (45.4 x 59.1 cm) frame: 25 1/8 × 30 3/8 × 2 1/2 in. (63.8 × 77.2 × 6.4 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by the Birmingham Museum of Art Endowment for Acquisitions; Members of the Birmingham Museum of Art; Dr. and Mrs. David Sperling in honor of their friends; Mr. Arthur E. Curl, Jr. in memory of his beloved wife, Donnie; Illges-Chenoweth Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Jack C. Geer; Mr. James E. Simpson; Mr. and Mrs. James A. Livingston, Jr.; Mrs. Evelyn Allen; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Barker, Jr.; and Mr. and Mrs. Harold H. Goings, 1999.60
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Provenance Anonymous (sale, Paris, Georges Petit, 22 May 1919, no. 12, as Entrée d’un gave, bought-in at 7300 frs by); [Petit]. Moïse Levi de Benzion (d. 1943), Cairo and Paris, [see note 1] confiscated December 1940 by Einsatzstab Rosenberg [ERR] (L-B 57, Felsschlucht mit Flusslauf, 1876, linen, framed, 45.2 x 59), deposited at Neu-Schwanstein depot, transferred 12 July 1941 to; [ see note 2] Walter Andreas Hofer, delivered 20 October 1942 as one of twelve paintings from the Levi de Benzion collection and others to; [see note 3] Hermann Göring, exchanged with; [Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, [see note 4] sold to]; [Willi Raeber, Basel, sold to]; [see note 5] [Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, sold 13 March 1945 to]; [see note 6] Arthur Stoll (1887-1971); [see note 7] claimed by Paule-Juliette Levi de Benzion, née Rabrassé, Cairo (legitimate heir of Moïse Levi Benzion), Cairo, 24 April 1947, through the Swiss Raubgutprozesse, as one of a group of twelve paintings and restituted to her by the Swiss Government based on a legal judgement of 15 December 1948. [see note 8] [Galerie Fritz Nathan, Zurich, 1952]. [see note 9] [Stephen Hahn, New York, 1961]; [ see note 10] Private collection, Boston. [Artemis Fine Arts, Inc., New York, sold 1999 to]; Birmingham Museum of Art
1. Tisa Francini, Heuss, Kreis 2001, pp. 381-82. Moïse Levi de Benzion was the proprietor of a very important department store in Egypt, “Grands Magasins de Benzion,” lived both in Egypt and in Draveil, south of Paris. At Draveil he had a collection of pictures, drawings, Chinese and Far Eastern art objects, tapestries, “Spitzen,” an important library, and very rare Egyptian antiquities. Moïse Levi de Benzion died in 1943 while living in the south of France. 989 works of art were confiscated by the ERR.
2. “L-B 57” is written in black marker on back of painting according to Jan. 13, 2000 letter from Jessica Stewart to Susanne Kienlechner. ERR inventory card, LB 57 [NARA microfilm, ERR records, roll 6]. O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit, Consolidated Interrogation Reports (CIR), Report No. 2, The Goering Collection, September 1945, Attachment 51, “Folgende Bilder wurden heute aus dem Depot Neuschwanstein für Herrn Hofer ausgehändigt: Verpackt in Kiste Ka 5: 21. LB 57 Felsschlucht mit Flusslauf von Courbet 1876.” Hofer was Göring’s curator.
3. See also “Liste der für die Sammlung des Reichsmarschalls Hermann Göring abgegebenen Kunstgegenstände,” dated 20 October 1942, in Art Looting Investigation Unit, APO 43, U.S. Army, Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2, 15 September 1945, “The Goering Collection,” Attachment 5, p. 5, no. 51.
4. O.S.S. Art Looting Investigation Unit, Consolidated Interrogation Reports (CIR), Report No. 2, The Goering Collection, September 1945, pp. 129ff: “Exchange No. 1-Goering with FISCHER of Lucerne.” On p. 130, the list of 25 French Impressionist pictures taken from the Einsatzstab Rosenberg that Goering gave to Fischer in exchange for seven works of art by German masters includes, “6. Courbet Landscape with Cliffs, # 51 [LEVY-BENZION] (LB 57) 12 July 41.” A concluding paragraph to the list [pp. 130-131] notes, “The pictures have been identified by HOFER. The E.R.R. list of 20 October 1942 shows that all the pictures used in this exchange came from the LEVY-BENZION, the KANN and the LINDENBAUM collections and that they were all taken from the Jeu de Paume on 12 December 1941. However, here a discrepancy arises; the Neuschwanstein list is also dated 12 July 1941, seeming to indicate that the pictures were in two different places on the same day. Lohse explains this in the following way. He says that the E.R.R. staff in Paris, against the Fuehrer’s orders, had decided to place this group of paintings in safety in Germany, because they considered them to be the best ‘degenerate’—i.e., Impressionist—pictures which had been confiscated thus far. When GOERING and HOFER, who were looking for French 19th Century pictures to exchange with FISCHER, heard that some were already in Germany, they ordered that the lot be sent to Berlin. LOHSE says that the similarity in the dates is accidental and can be explained by the fact that the E.R.R. list of 20 October 1942 was drawn up many months later in Keal (Germany) from the documents at hand, among which was the Neuschwanstein list of 12 July 1941. He believes that the pictures were sent away from Paris earlier in the year. HOFER’s story fits in with this account, since he denies ever having seen the pictures before they came to Berlin.”
5. [Douglas] Cooper, “Report on Mission to Switzerland, 10 Dec. 1945,” Attachment B, “Looted Works of Art from Confiscations of Allied Nationals Discovered in Switzerland” [NARA, RG 239/Entry 731, Box 82, Microfilm M 1944/Reel 94]: “Sold to Willi RAEBER of Basel, sold to Galerie ROSENGART of Lucerne; then to Swiss Collector.” See also Tisa Francini, Heuss, Kreis 2001, p. 509.
6. Label on stretcher” “Galerie Rosengart/Luzern.”
7. Tisa Francini, Heuss, Kreis 2001, p. 91, cite SIK, Nachlass Stoll, 2/12, Karteikarten 6, Rechnung vom 13.3.1945 . A few months later the painting was determined to have been stolen from France [SIK, Nachlass Stoll, 3/12, Separatbeilagen, “Courbet.” Stoll returned the painting immediately after the war as part of the Swiss Stolen Goods Process. Re. Stoll see pp. 89-91: From 1935 to 1961 Stoll was vice president of the board of directors of Sandoz.
8. Tisa Francini, Heuss, Kreis 2001, pp. 376-7; 381-2, note that according to the judgment, all the paintings from the Levi de Benzion collection found in Switzerland were to be returned.
9. Rectangular label on center stretcher bar: “Drs. F. u. P. N/Zch./L/C/Nr/ 797. The painting was included in the Nathan Gallerie exhibition Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Plastiken…, November 1952, no. 3, as Le Ruisseau dans les Roches, ill.. Probably referred to in handwritten label on lower right of stetcher: “G. Courbet 1819-1877 ? Le ruisseau Land les Roches / all 181024 (?) (8683) [transcription from 15 Oct. 2002 letter from Jessica Stewart to Ms. Kienlechner [BMA files].
10. New York, The New Gallery, Gustave Courbet, Landscape and Seascape, exh. October-November 1961, no. 15, ill.