Painting at center of ownership fight raises specter of family’s Nazi past
The Associated Press
Published: February 3, 2008

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: The oil portrait “Girl from the Sabine Mountains” shows a peasant woman reclining, closing her eyes and stretching her billowing white sleeves behind her dark hair.

The serenity of the figure belies the pain the portrait has witnessed — sold by its “non-Aryan” owner under Nazi orders as the Holocaust began and decades later the subject of a bitter court fight.

It’s believed to be the work of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a 19th-century artist famous for painting Queen Victoria, the czar of Russia and other European nobles. One of his works fetched almost $2 million (€1.4 million) at a Christie’s auction.