Seated Man with a Cane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seated Man with a Cane
Modigliani Seated Man with a Cane.jpg
ArtistAmedeo Modigliani
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions126 cm × 75 cm (50 in × 30 in)

Seated Man with a Cane is a 1918 oil on canvas painting by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. The painting is currently the subject of a complex ownership dispute.

Ownership history[edit]

Early sales[edit]

The painting was purchased by the International Art Center (IAC) at a 1996 Christie's auction in London for £2 million.[1] In 2008, the painting was put up for auction by Sotheby's in New York, but no bids were made.[1]

Stettiner claim[edit]

Philippe Maestracci claims ownership of the painting through inheritance through his grandfather.[2] According to Maestracci, the painting was taken from his grandfather, Jewish Parisian art dealer Oscar Stettiner, by the Nazis during the German occupation of France.[2] In 1939, Oscar Stettiner left the painting behind in France ahead of the German occupation.[3] The Nazis took administration over the painting in 1941 and auctioned it off in 1944.[3] In 1946, Oscar Stettiner filed a claim to recover the painting, but the French authorities were ultimately unable to find it.[3]

In 2011, Maestracci pressed charges against Helly Nahmad and David Nahmad in the US federal court in New York to recover ownership rights to the painting.[1] The Nahmads denied that they were the owners of the painting, claiming that they were merely exhibiting it on the behalf of the IAC, a Panamanian corporation listed as its titular owner.[1] Since then, Maestracci has filed multiple lawsuits in an attempt to recover the painting.[1] According to the Panama Papers released in 2016, "David Nahmad, the family leader, has been the company’s sole owner since January 2014”.[2] In April, 2016, Swiss authorities seized the painting from the Geneva Freeport as part of an ongoing investigation.[2]

Following a court decision in 2017, Maestracci has standing to continue with his 2014 lawsuit to reclaim the work.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ruiz, Christina (8 April 2016). "Panama Papers expose art world's offshore secrets". The Art Newspaper. The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Sher, Julian (11 April 2016). "Modigliani masterpiece seized in wake of Panama Papers". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Maloney, Jennifer (Oct 27, 2014). "After Finding Lost Painting, a Roadblock". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  4. ^ Jason Grant (November 6, 2017). "Jewish Art Collector's Heir Has Standing to Sue for Nazi-Confiscated Painting". New York Law Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

External links[edit]