odalisque

matisee-odalique

Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque” has quite a long lineage of ownership. The Nazis seized the work from art dealer Paul Rosenberg in 1941. The work traveled from Paris to New York, where it was purchased by the lumber millionaires Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. (Note: The two founded Bleodel Reserve, a pretty major mansion and wildlife habitat north of Seattle that sits on a measly 150 acres.) They donated the painting to the Seattle Art Museum in 1991.

Since “Odalisque” was a work confiscated by the Nazis, Rosenberg’s granddaughter Anne Sinclair (France’s own “Barbara Walters”) sued the Seattle Art Museum (the first lawsuit of its kind regarding looted art). The museum then sued the New York gallery (like, of course). The museum unanimously voted to give the work back in 1999. In 2007, Sinclair put the work up for auction. The price tag? 33 million.

As if this story couldn’t get more dramatic! Anne Sinclair’s ex is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former IMF Managing Director who was acquitted of assault charges against a hotel maid. See? Told you.

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