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Provenance Research in Finnish Museums


Information pertaining to provenance and context, i.e. information about previous owners and about the use of artefacts, contributes to the museum value of an object or a work of art in the highest degree. The better these are known, the more the object tells us about its times and itself and the more versatile its use in exhibitions, publications and research. Provenance research is an inherent part of museum work. Especially the provenance of the oldest objects in the collections can pose problems, as the information is not necessarily always complete. At the moment, changes in the ownership of works of art during the period between the World Wars are very much in focus. Several Finnish museums own works of art acquired in Europe whose provenance requires lengthy and in-depth research. This is often difficult because the necessary archive sources are abroad. To facilitate this work, it is in the interest of the museums to make public those works of art on whose provenance other researchers may be able to shed light.

The collections of the following museums contain works of art that have lacunae in their provenance between 1933 and 1945. This does not necessarily mean, however, that a work is stolen. You can find the links to the museums’ collections on the right side of this page.

The National Museum of Finland focuses on Finnish cultural history. The works of old masters in the museum’s collections mainly come from three private collectors, K. E. A. Bergman (1868-1944), Eric Idestam (1900-1960) and Albert Enckell (1883-1964), through bequests. A random selection of archival material pertaining to the purchase of some of the works, kept by the collectors themselves, has been preserved.

Station master K. E. A. Bergman collected silver, furniture, porcellain, etc. as well as art.  Both Eric Idestam, Master of Laws, and engineer Albert Enckell were avid collectors with wide-ranging interests, collecting, as did K. E. A. Bergman, much else besides art. All bequeathed their collections to the National Museum, inclusive of the old master paintings they had acquired in Europe (e.g. in London), and through art dealers in Helsinki.

The following selection of their collections includes all those paintings that are known to have been acquired in Europe, or that have no known provenance.

Ateneum Art Museum chiefly collects Finnish art. Acquisitions to the international collection have been sporadic and dependent on resources. Thus there are few works in the collections of the Ateneum Art Museum that have lacunae in their provenance.

Sinebrychoff Art Museum, with its focus on European old masters, has a much larger problem in terms of research because of the volume and scope of their collections. At this stage, works that have been acquired at auction over the past decades have been excluded from the list, since they have been publicly exhibited before the auctions.

NB The attributions do not necessarily correspond to modern attributions or the result of actual research, but are those that are e.g. shown on labels on frames and are thus indicative of the attributions used by the previous owners.

A collector

A collector's cabinet" with the "ânes iconoclastes" scene in the background is part of the Enckell collection at the National Museum of Finland (inv. No. KM 65050:650). The painting, by Frans (II) Francken (1581-1642) and atelier, bears on reverse two seals, one of which is yet to be identified, the other probably shows the joint coats-of-arms of the Russian Volkonsky and Danilov families. Albert Enckell acquired several works of art from Russia in the early 20th century. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities/Hanna Palonen.

 

Artist/attribution: Backer, Jacob, circle of
Motif: Bacchus
Dating: 17th C.
Oil, wood, 71 x 55 cm
Provenance: Art dealer Leonard Bäcksbacka, Helsinki > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:860

Saint Elisabet, Batoni Pompeo (1708-1787), copy after. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities

Artist/attribution: Batoni, Pompeo (1708-1787), copy after
Motif: Saint Elisabeth
Oil, canvas, 50 x 37 cm
Provenance: England > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:641
neg. 77282

Borough Johnson Ernest, Three Women making Lace. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities

Artist/attribution: Borough Johnson, Ernest (1866/7-1949)
Motif: Three Women Making Lace
Oil, oak, 25 x 35 cm
Provenance: bought from the artist > J. Mendelson [?], London > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:670
neg. 96114

Artist/attribution: Bunn, F. W. (?)
Motif: Landscape in the Alps
Dating: 1869
Oil, canvas, 43 x 26,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1050

Artist/attribution: Collier, Edwaert
Motif: Still Life (Vanitas)
Dating: 1661
Oil, wood, 66 x 50 cm
Provenance: Rapps Konsthandel, Stockholm 1953 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:865

Courtois Jacques, Cavalry Scene. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Courtois, Jacques (le Bourgignon) (1621-1776)
Motif: Cavalry Scene
Oil, canvas, 42 x 73 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:645
neg. 77284

Artist/attribution: Dück, Jakob (1600-1667)
Motif: Young Officer
Oil, wood, 33 x 25 cm
Provenance: Christie’s, London 1.7.1938, no. 42 >Louis Richter > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:862

Earlom Richard, Seascape. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Earlom, Richard (1743-1822)
Motif: Seascape
Watercolour, paper, 44 x 60 cm
Provenance: Scheinin > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:483
neg. 68153

Giordano Luca, Psyche Receives the Dagger and a Lantern from Her Sisters. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Giordano, Luca, copy after
Motif: Psyche Receives the Dagger and a Lantern from Her Sisters
Dating: 18th C.?
Oil, canvas, 57,5 x 70,5 cm
Provenance: Dublin > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:657
neg. 144206

Haneman A, Portrait of Wilhelm III (1650-1702), Prince of Orange. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Haneman,A., atelier?
Motif: Portrait of Wilhelm III (1650-1702), Prince of Orange
Dating: ca. 1664
Oil, canvas, 83 x 66 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:646
neg. 77422

Knüpfer Nicolaus, Judith and Holofernes. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Knüpfer, Nicolaus (1603-1660)
Motif: Judith and Holofernes
Oil, wood, 34 x 49 cm
Provenance: England > Strindbergs Konstsalong, Helsinki > Enckell Coll. [markings of an auction on reverse]
KM 65050:646
neg. 77789

Medem N., Landscape. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Medem, N. (?)
Motif: Landscape
Dating: 1896
Oil, canvas, 85 x 133 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1045
neg. 165638

Moyaert Claes, Old Woman. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Moyaert, Claes (?)
Motif: Old Woman
Oil, wood, 36 x 27,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:464
neg. 68138

Neyts Gillis, Landscape. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Neyts, Gillis (1623-1687)
Motif: Landscape
Oil, wood, 27 x 36,5 cm
Provenance: Gösta Stenman > [?Acke] Janson, sculptor, bought from his son, 1955 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:460
neg. 68134

Artist/attribution: Nogari, Giuseppe (1699-1763)
Motif: Old Woman
Oil, canvas, 50 x 45 cm
Provenance: London > Louis Richter 1950 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:864

Romano Giulio, Cavalry Scene. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Romano, Giulio (1498-1546)
Motif: Cavalry Scene
Oil, canvas, 104 x 130 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll. [marked on reverse: N310214-20/VI 903]
KM 61100:637
neg. 84336

Ruoppolo Giuseppe, Allegory. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Ruoppolo, Giuseppe (1600-1659)
Motif: Allegory
Oil, canvas, 95 x 130 cm
Provenance: England > Louis Richter 1939 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:470
neg. 68145

Ruthart Karl Borromäus Andreas, Wolves and Dogs fighting. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Ruthart, Karl Borromäus Andreas (1630-1680)
Motif: Wolves and Dogs Fighting
Oil, canvas, 72,5 x 96 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:462
neg. 68135

Schütz (II) Christian George, The Rhein at Schaffhausen. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Schütz (II), Christian Georg (1758-1828)
Motif: The Rhein at Schaffhausen
Oil, oak, 37 x 50,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:653
neg. 109083

Tempesta Pieter Mulier, Shipwreck. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Tempesta, Pieter Mulier (1676-1701)
Motif: Shipwreck
Oil, wood, 68 x 79 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:466
neg. 68140

Tempesta Pieter Mulier, Landscape, Seashore. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Tempesta, Pieter Mulier (1637-1701)
Motif: Landscape, Seashore
Oil, canvas, 85 x 155 cm (oval)
Provenance: Art dealer Ivar Hörhammer, Helsinki 1953 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:473
neg. 68148

Artist/attribution: van Uden, Lucas (1595-1673)
Motif: Landscape
Dating: 1648
Oil, canvas, 83 x 137 cm
Provenance: London > Louis Richter 1953 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:859

Vasquez Alonzo, Still Life. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Vasquez, Alonzo (d. 1637)
Motif: Still Life
Oil, canvas, 100 x 120 cm
Provenance: England > Louis Richter 1939 > Ivar Hörhammer, Helsinki 1947 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:469
neg. 68144

van de Velde Esais, Landscape. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: van de Velde, Esaias (1590-1630)
Motif: Landscape
Oil, wood, 45 x 98,5 cm
Provenance: Strindbergs Konstsalong, Helsinki 1953 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:471
neg. 68146

van de Velde Jan Jansz, Still Life. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: van de Velde, Jan Jansz. (1620-1660)
Motif: Still Life
Oil, canvas, 19 x 26,5 cm
Provenance: London > Louis Richter 1953 > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:468
neg. 68143

Rottenhammar Johann, The Triumph of Virtue. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Rottenhammar, Johann (1564-1623)
Motif: “The Triumph of Virtue”
Oil, canvas, 43 x 34,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1037
neg. 165612

Unknown, Portrait of a man. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Portrait of a man
Oil, canvas, 37 x 44,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:1034
neg. 71660

Unknown (German), Portrait, Hans Dietrich Löffenholz von Kolberg. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown (German)
Motif: Portrait, Hans Dietrich Löffelholz von Kolberg
Dating: 1561
Oil, copper, 11 x 17,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1035
neg. 71597

Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Portrait of a Man, miniature
Dating: ?
Oil, wood, diam. 8,2 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1036

Unknown, The Inside of a Stable. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: The Inside of a Stable
Dating: 19th C.
Oil, canvas, 36 x 44 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1046
neg. 165634

Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Figures in Antique Costumes
Oil, canvas, 40 x 52 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1048

Unknown, Landscape. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Landscape
Dating: 19th C.?
Oil, wood, 21 x 25,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Bergman Coll.
KM 41001:1049
neg. 90085

Unknown (French), Portrait of a Man. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown (French)
Motif: Portrait of a Man
Dating: 17th C.
Oil, canvas, 54,5 x 39,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:461
neg. 68136

Unknown, Young Girl. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Young Girl
Oil, canvas, 35,5 x 30,5 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:477
neg. 144208

Artist/attribution: Unknown (Dutch)
Motif: Trompe l’oeil
Dating: 17th C.
Oil, canvas, 52 x 53 cm
Provenance: Strindbergs Konstsalong, Helsinki 1953 >Idestam Coll.
KM 61100:861

Unknown, The Crucifixion. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: The Crucifixion
Dating: 16th C.?
Oil, wood, 106 x 84 cm
Provenance: unknown > Idestam Coll.
KM 65050:636
neg. 153076

Unknown (Italian?), Soldier. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown (Italian?)
Motif: Soldier
Dating: 17th C.?
Oil, canvas, ? cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:642
neg. 153082

Unknown (Spanish?), A Man. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown (Spanish?)
Motif: A Man
Dating: 17th C.?
Oil, canvas, 102 x 87 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:643
neg. 153085

Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: “Fields of Elysion”
Oil, wood, 48 x 64 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:644
neg. 77421

Unknown (Dutch), Portrait of a Man. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown (Dutch)
Motif: Portrait of a Man
Dating: ca. 1620
Oil, wood, 52 x 37 cm
Provenance: Bonnelly? > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:648
neg. 77287, 77288

Unknown, The Judgement of Salomon. Photo: The National Board of Antiquities Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: The Judgement of Salomon
Dating: 17th C.?
Oil, canvas, ? cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:649
neg. 84511

Artist/attribution: Unknown
Motif: Monk
Oil, canvas, 44 x 35 cm
Provenance: unknown > Enckell Coll.
KM 65050:665


 



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Last updated 13.12.2011
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