A stolen baroque landscape painting, known as the “Landscape of Italian Character,” has been returned to Germany after being missing for over 78 years. The artwork, created by Vienna-born artist Johann Franz Nepomuk Lauterer in the early 18th century, was reported stolen from the Bavarian State Paintings Collections in Munich in 1945.
The painting was recovered by the FBI after a Chicago resident informed Art Recovery International that their late uncle had owned a stolen artwork obtained after serving in World War II. The company’s founder, Christopher Marinello, enlisted the FBI’s art crime team for assistance in retrieving the painting.
Art Recovery International and the Alte Pinakothek museum verified the painting’s authenticity in 2022. It will now be displayed at the Alte Pinakothek alongside another artwork by Lauterer featuring similar motifs of the Italian countryside.
This incident is not the first time stolen artwork has been recovered from US soldiers who served in World War II. In 2015, the FBI recovered three artworks stolen by US soldiers from a German museum in Dessau.