Courbet painting returns to Budapest

A precious painting by French Realist Gustave Courbet, the Bathers in the Forest (1862), has returned to Hungary after 75 years and is set to be put on display in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest in November, the museum told MTI on Friday.
24. July 2021 7:05

The 41.2x33cm canvas was purchased by a private Hungarian collector at Sotheby’s auctioning in May and has been taken to the Budapest museum for an inspection by experts, the museum said in a statement.

The painting was originally bought by Hungarian baron and art collector Ferenc Hatvany (1881-1958) in 1908 in Paris. At the end of WWII Hatvany’s famous collection of several hundred titles including the Courbet painting was deposited with a bank the vault of which was looted by the Soviet Army in 1945.

The painting surfaced again in May at an auction resulting from a restitution agreement reached between the heirs of Hatvany and the owner of the painting, the museum said.

The Bathers in the Forest has been purchased by a private individual who asked not to be named at a final price of 320,000 dollars, the Budapest museum said.

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