The appropriation of the Collection F. Koenigs


The definition of the entire drawing collection known by the name ‘Collection F. Koenigs’

June 1935, Franz Koenigs actualized his loan of his Old Master Painting and Old Master Drawing Collections to Museum Boijmans. To ensure the identifiability of each sheet of his drawing collection, he handed over a copy of his Drawing Catalogue. The coversheet covering the catalogue specifies each of the 2140 drawings by school, exact number and description, and their provenance. At the bottom of the cover page, H. Lütjens (working for Koenigs) defines the content of ‘the entire drawing collection’ with the following statement, which is written in German, and translated for the purpose of understanding:

“With the exception of the few above drawings, as indicated in the catalogue which stayed in Haarlem, and with exception of the drawings which are for a limited period of time at exhibitions, of which special lists are kept, the entire Drawing Collection is located at the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam. Amsterdam, 15 June 1935, H. Lütjens.”

See: Statement of the entire drawing collection and


What exactly did Lisser & Rosenkranz sell to D.G. van Beuningen on April 9, 1940 

Lisser & Rosenkranz on April 9, 1940 confirms the sale agreement in Dutch to D.G. van Beuningen as follows, translated: ‘we confirm to have sold you a collection of drawings known by the name of ‘Collection F. Koenigs’ which is held at the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam, which we with our current writing make available to you at the aforementioned Museum, as well as the following paintings:
Hieronymus Bosch: - The Wedding at Kana - the double panel Hell and Flood and The St. Christophorus. By P.P. Rubens: - The Three Crosses - Ariadne and Bacchus at the shore of the lake - Triumph of Bacchus - The Death of Eurydice - Narcissus - Nereid riding a Triton - The Unification of England and Scotland and the Landscape the Waggon.”

They further request the counter value of DFL  1,000,000. -  for the drawings and paintings is to be made available at their account at the ‘Nederlandse Bank’, the National Bank of the Netherlands (jpg-file, klik hier/click here)


Van Beuningen thus bought the ‘entire’ collection of drawings as described by Lütjens and the listed 12 paintings, but nothing more then that. As the Inventory book of the Boijmans shows, van Beuningen could not give more to the Foundation Museum Boijmans then he had bought.




Inventory book of the Foundation Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, december 1940

The gifts by D.G. Van Beuningen of the Collection F. Koenigs to the Foundation Boijmans van Beuningen.

'Geschenk D.G. v Beuningen december 1940'

Inventory no. 105 A. Dürer shows the 8 books by Pirckheimer with miniatures by A. Dürer

they are still kept as 'Collection F. Koenigs.'

The Gabburri albums are not listed at all.

Stichting Boijmans Inventaris Boek geschenk van Beuningen (klik hier/click here)



The appropriation starts with the book Missing Old Master Drawings from the Franz Koenigs Collection Claimed by the State of the Netherlands (Pdf-file, klik hier/click here)
On page 11, the right column ‘Actual Number’ still registers the German schools D I and D II though the German drawings in their entirety were sold to Hitler, so the entry should register as void.
Further the Actual number column shows that to the Italian school, 2 drawings are added to Koenigs Catalogue of drawings and at the Actual number column 507 drawings taken from the Gabburri albums are added, a new creative version of the Catalogue of drawings of F. Koenigs. Delivering the proof that 507 drawings from the Gabburri Albums were added at a later state in 1989. This is not what was sold to Van Beuningen. See: Bijlage 11 Tekeningen en de Boeken (klik hier/click here)

See also, Zeichnungssammlung F. Koenigs (doorslag 1):