A painting by French Realist Gustave Courbet, the Bathers in the Forest (1862), has returned to Hungary after 75 years and is set to be put on display in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest in November, the museum told MTI.
The 41x33cm canvas was purchased by a private Hungarian collector at Sotheby’s in May and has been taken to the Budapest museum for an inspection by experts. The painting was originally bought by the Hungarian art collector Baron Ferenc Hatvany (1881-1958) in Paris in 1908. At the end of WW2, Hatvany’s collection of several hundred works of art, including the Courbet painting, was deposited in a bank vault that was looted by the Soviet Army in 1945. The painting resurfaced at auction in May, after a restitution agreement was reached between the heirs of Hatvany and the painting’s owner at the time, the museum said. The hammer price for Bathers in the Forest was 320,000 dollars, the Budapest museum said.