Oct 4, 2023

Comparing 1961 and May 30 2019 provenances for Manet's La Sultane in the Bührle collection

How many times did the provenance change?
Word/Phrase 1961 Catalogue Count 2019 Bürhle website Count
dealer 1 0
silberberg 1 9
? 0 2
art market 0 1
by 0 7
rosenberg 0 5
might 0 1
until 0 1
no documents 0 1
was never really and completely owned by Silberberg 0 1

Edouard Manet

Young Woman in Oriental Garb

ca. 1871

La Sultane

Oil on canvas

96 x 74.5 cm

Signed and inscribed lower left: à l'ami Adrien Marx Manet

Rouart/Wildenstein 175

May 30, 2019 provenance archived at: https://web.archive.org/web/20190530173831/https://www.buehrle.ch/en/collection/artwork/detail/young-woman-in-oriental-garb/

In 1961, the Manet was published under the title: "Woman in Oriental Dress"

The provenance, written by Douglas Cooper, stated:

"with Paul Cassirer, Berlin; Max Silberberg, Breslau; with a New York dealer; bt. by Emil Bührle in 1952."

The photo of the Manet and the provenance were published in the exhibition catalogue: Masterpieces of French painting from the Bührle Collection

The changes one observes between 1961 and 2019 include:

  • replacing "New York dealer" with Paul Rosenberg
  • adding question marks and doubts about Max Silberberg's ownership, based on speculation by the author
  • inserting "Art Market" between Silberberg and Rosenberg

Excerpt from the 2019 provenance published by Bührle collection  and preserved in the Wayback Machine

This sentence published in 2019 by the Bührle collection stands out since it has been proven beyond a doubt that Silberberg owned the painting:

When the most valuable paintings from Silberberg's collection were auctioned in Paris on 9 June 1932, Manet's Sultane was not among them, which might be understood as an indication that the painting was never really and completely owned by Silberberg, and that it therefore went back to the Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris.

NEW UPDATE 2024 !!

Consulted on April 13, 2024, the provenance text published by the Emil Bührle Collection now reads:

5Durand-Ruel Paris • 1923 until ca. 1928 According to documents kept in the archive of the Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris, and quoted in Report from Dr. Monika Tatzkow to von Trott zu Solz, Law firm, Berlin, 20 March 2009, p. 3, Durand-Ruel became the sole owner of the painting on 20 July 1923, after the firm had first sold (20 May 1914), then reacquired (12  April 1915) its share of one third to and from Bernheim-Jeune, after the joint purchase at the 1914 sale of the Roger Marx collection (as above, n.4); AStEGB, Copy of Monika Tatzkow’s Report, sent to Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection on 16 April 2009; Exhibition of Paintings, Edouard Manet, Pierre Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh 1924, no. 19.

6Max Silberberg Breslau • ca. 1928–1937 No documents regarding the sale of the painting to Max Silberberg have been preserved in the archive of the Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris (AStEGB, Report of Dr. Monika Tatzkow as above, n. 5, p. 9), but since Durand-Ruel accepted, in 1934, to have the painting sent to them by Paul Rosenberg for an exhibition in New York on their own premises (Exhibition of Important Paintings by Great French Masters of the Nineteenth Century, Paul Rosenberg & Durand-Ruel [Durand Ruel Galleries], New York 1934, no. 31), E-Mail from Durand-Ruel, Paris, to Foundation E.G. Bührle Collection, Zurich, 7 March 2022, it can be assumed that a regular sale of the painting to Silberberg had indeed taken place. The earliest reference to Max Silberberg as the owner of Manet, La Sultane is given in the catalogue of Ausstellung Edouard Manet 1832–1883, Gemälde, Pastelle, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Galerie Matthiesen, Berlin 1928, no. 35. In 1932, La Sultane by Edouard Manet was consigned to Paul Rosenberg in Paris, most probably at the time when a group of works from the Silberberg collection were offered for sale at an auction in Paris (not including La Sultane) in June 1932. After its arrival in Paris, the painting was registered as no. 3079 in an inventory of photographs made by the Paul Rosenberg gallery of incoming new works (Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Paul Rosenberg Archives, IV.A.1.a, «Liste de photographies, Paris»; although no dates are given with these entries, a later entry on the following page of the same inventory book, linked to nos. 3129–3131, refers to an Exposition Claude Monet Nymphéas, taking place at the gallery from February through March 1933, allowing to state that the painting had been consigned to Rosenberg and come to Paris certainly before that date). Paul Rosenberg subsequently offered the painting for sale at two exhibitions, one in New York in 1934 (catalogue as above), and one in Rosenberg’s own gallery in Paris in 1935 (Tableaux du 19e siècle dans un décor ancien, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris 1935), no catalogue, but photographs of the installation surviving.

7Paul Rosenberg Paris & New York • 1937–1953 Acquired in 1937 for $ 17.800, AStEGB, Photocopy of Stock Book of Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, entry no. 5106, and of Inventory Card no. 3079; Letter from Paul Rosenberg, New York, to Emil Bührle, 22 September 1952, accompanying individual invoices for 10 pictures which Bührle has acquired from him, including Manet, La Sultane.

8Emil Bührle Zurich • 18 September 1953 until [d.] 28 November 1956 Acquired from the above for $ 65.000 minus a 10% discount ($ 6.500) = $ 58.500, AStEGB, Invoice from Paul Rosenberg, New York, made out to Emil Bührle, 22 September 1952, listing Silberberg as a previous owner; Letter from Emil Bührle to Paul Rosenberg, Zurich, 6 May 1953, accompanying a check in payment of 4 pictures and scheduling payments for 3 pictures still to be effected, including Manet, La Sultane; [2nd] Invoice from Paul Rosenberg, New York, made out to Emil Bührle, 14 September 1953, for Manet, La Sultane, and Summary of invoices from Paul Rosenberg, made out to Emil Bührle, 14 September 1953, for 3 paintings valued at $ 138.600, including Manet, La Sultane, and deducting $ 19.220 for payment already effected; Payment order from Emil Bührle to Industrie- und Handelsbank, Zurich, 18 September 1953, ordering transfer of the remaining $ 119.380 to Paul Rosenberg; Correspondence regarding the import of the 10 pictures to Switzerland, 12 January 1956–22 June 1956, the Manet figuring in the papers as «Manet, Young Woman in Oriental Costume», with a declared value of $ 12.000.

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