The importance of the drawings catalogue for the Collection F. Koenigs

Zeichnungssammlung F. Koenigs


By 1930 Franz Koenigs had amassed a wonderful collection of Old Master Drawings of international repute. Each new purchase was carefully catalogued, described and added to the “Zeichnungssammlung F. Koenigs”. In this way his collection was fully described in an annotated catalogue. Each drawing was listed by country, artist, description of image, material, size and provenance and the year of purchase. The schools existed of DI - 281 German drawings till 1800; DII - 23 German drawings after 1800; E - 19 English drawings; F I - 303 French drawings till 1800; FII - 226 French drawings after 1800; H - 260 Dutch (Holland) drawings till 1800; I - 560 Italian drawings; N - 194 Netherlandish Drawings till 1600; R - 135 Rembrandt and pupils; S - 33 Spanish drawings; V - 106 Flemish drawings till 1800, in total the collection amounted to 2140 drawings. The house of Anna and Franz Koenigs in Haarlem, Flora Park 8, functioned as their museum.

In 1931, facing the “Stillhalte Abkommen” Franz Koenigs enlarged Rhodius Koenigs’ capital, to which purpose he issued new shares. His banker friends from Hamburg, Lisser & Rosenkranz, Tillmann and Altmann were keen to invest in the Rhodius Koenigs Bank, Amsterdam. However they hesitated to participate in shares, for shares are registered to their holders. Instead they choose to provide the capital directly. Franz Koenigs complying with their wish to stay anonymous, secured the extended credit with his Collection of Old Master Drawings. The re-typed lists of the catalogue of drawings provided the necessary detailed information about the 2140 drawings which served as collateral for the loan to a maximum amount of fl. 1,500,000. The drawings were kept at pledgers house Flora Park 8, Haarlem.

In 1928, Rotterdam planned a new building for Museum Boijmans. In 1930 Franz and Anna Koenigs loaned their collection of French Impressionists paintings and pastels to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The following years Hannema1 asked Franz Koenigs several times to exhibit his drawings in the old Museum Boijmans premises ‘the Schielandshuis’. The construction of the museum was delayed, over budget and the city tightened the flow of money. To exhibit Franz Koenigs’ drawings was a god send, budget wise the costs were minimal. They drew international attention and were well visited. In 1933 Hannema exhibited his French drawings after 1800, “From Ingres to Seurat from the Collection F. Koenigs”; and in 1934 Hannema asked for the loan of several English drawings for the exhibition “Old English Paintings and Drawings in Dutch possession”; further in 1934 Hannema selected to exhibit the Dutch drawings: “Dutch Drawings from 15th, 16th and 17th century from the Collection F. Koenigs” and the last exhibition held at the old Schielandshuis, was the “Hundred Old French Drawings from the collection F. Koenigs” from December 1934 - January 1935. 
Apparently this conjunction was pleasing both parties and Koenigs must have become convinced of Hannema’s care and love for his drawings demanding such careful handling. The trust apparently was such that a few month later in April ’35, when the new museum neared completion, Hannema announced the long term loan of the collections of the great collector F. Koenigs for a period of at least 10 years.

The final completion of this new museum was Hannema’s greatest achievement. The other great achievement was to get this special world famous collection into his museum. Franz Koenigs from his side was pleased because his collections received museum attention, the Bosch and the Rubens paintings were art historical and scientifically studied and the drawings were laid out far better in the exhibitions at museum Boijmans then they had been on the closed billiard table at home. But far more important, they were taken up in a Dutch museum. Embracing Dutch culture his collections were removed one more step from his fatherland, (Nazi) Germany. Another goal was to find a museum he could devise and bequeath his collections to. The new Museum Boijmans seemed to be the museum he had been looking for.


Franz Koenigs loan to Museum Boijmans consisted of both his Old Master Collections, the drawings and the paintings which served both as collateral for the financial agreement with Lisser & Rosenkranz and the Jewish bankers from Hamburg. Apart from both collections Franz Koenigs also loaned other artworks to the museum which were not part of the collateral. Because of his collections now on loan to a third party, Museum Boijmans, a new agreement between Franz Koenigs and Lisser & Rosenkranz was drafted on June 1, 1935. The augmented thread of the Nazi regime and the collections being in hands of a third party had doubled the collateral though the financial agreement stayed the same. In 1931 only the collection of drawings was pledged, while in 1935 the collection of paintings was added against the loan of fl. 1,5 million with a running time of 5 years against a yearly interest of 4% added, to be payable when the agreement would end on 31 May 1940.

The Collection of Old Master Paintings (46 paintings)

The Collection Old Master Drawings (2140 drawings)

The new building of Museum Boijmans at the Mathenesserlaan in Rotterdam with the loan of Franz and Anna Koenigs was festively opened on July 6, 1935 by Queen Wilhelmina.


Franz Koenigs delivered his collections fully registered to Museum Boijmans. The drawings of the 2014 sheet drawing collection had all been stamped on the reverse with his collection mark, Lugt 1023a. (See: Lugt 1023a). Moreover all of the drawings were registered in a loose leaf catalogue. 

The Old Master painting collection consisted of 46 paintings, for which a separate catalogue was published by Museum Boijmans. Both collections served as certified lists for the financial agreement. 
The City of Rotterdam2 insured the loan for fl. 4,500,000.


The catalogue, a loose leaf typescript, consisted of lists which were re-typed in 1931 for Lisser & Rosenkranz, Altmann and Tillmann. From 1935 onwards, it foremost served Museum Boijmans to keep track of the loans and to curate exhibitions from the drawings. In 1940 with the purchase of the F. Koenigs Collection van Beuningen naturally received Lisser & Rosenkranz’ catalogue. Van Beuningen likewise needed, evidence of the drawings he had just purchased. Determining 2140 drawings was not exactly Van Beuningen’s expertise. Almost immediately Van Beuningen contracted Max J. Friedländer to evaluate the drawings. Max Friedländer3 worked with the lists of drawings which are now kept at the Museum Boijmans archive 181-763. Towards the end of 1940 when Friedländer had finished evaluating the entire collection of drawings, Posse presented the evaluation to Hitler, who insisted on a counter evaluation by the firm C.G. Boerner in Leipzig. To re-evaluate the drawings Boerner asked for two copies of the catalogue, one for himself and one for his partner Trautscholdt, to be sent to Leipzig. A few of the re-typed lists were sent to and kept by dr. Hans Posse, Hitler’s Sonderbeauftragter for the Linz museum who was stationed in Dresden4. Those catalogue lists were taken in 1945 with a quarter of the Koenigs drawings from Germany by the Soviet Union to Moscow, the catalogue lists are now located at the Osoby archive in Moscow file 1524-2-40. 309 of the 528 drawings sold to Hitler are kept at the Pushkin Museum of Art, in Moscow. After his drawings were sold to Hitler, Franz Koenigs gave in March 1941 one copy of the catalogue to the RKD5. 

All of these copies can be seen on the website by clicking on ‘Catalogus tekeningen’:


The catalogue in use at Museum Boijmans was the catalogue Anna Koenigs and Helmuth Lütjens had been using at home. The catalogue was the testimony of the collection of drawings which Franz Koenigs had transported to the museum in 1935. Historically this is the most interesting catalogue, showing the way the collection was built, how they had added, changed, crossed out, glued on, and re-attributed drawings until 1931 the collection was closed completely to become the collateral for the loan Lisser & Rosenkranz extended to Franz Koenigs. The catalogue was then accurately re-typed to serve as the collateral to fixate the loan of Lisser & Rosenkranz, Tillmann and Altmann. 


Lütjens wrote June 15, 1935 the title page of the Boijmans catalogue, he lists the different countries, the time period and the exact number of drawings for each school, totaling 2140 drawings. At the bottom of the page he states that this is the complete Collection of Drawings, located at Museum Boijmans.

Mit Ausnahme der wenigen oben sowie im Katalog angegebenen Zeichnungen, die in Haarlem verblieben sind, und mit Ausnahme der jeweils für beschrankte Zeit auf Ausstellungen befindlichen Zeichnungen, über die besondere Listen geführt werden, befindet sich die gesamte Zeichnungssammlung im Boymans Museum in Rotterdam.
Amsterdam, 15. Juni 1935 H. Lütjens

Except for the few in the catalogue marked drawings which stayed in Haarlem and with the exception of the drawings which are loaned for short time exhibitions, of which special lists are kept, the complete Drawing Collection is present in Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam.
 Amsterdam, 15. June 1935 H. Lütjens 


In order to maintain a workable system for the short term loans of the drawings to exhibitions, Lütjens and Anna Koenigs, had created an index card box system. Each of the 2140 drawings were listed on separate cards. When drawings were on loan the cards would be placed vertically, thus sticking out to be immediately recognizable. The text on the cards, was exactly the same as the description of the drawings in the catalogue. This index card box was sent with both collections and the catalogue of the Drawings to the museum in June 1935. 
Though Franz Koenigs had made the arrangement with the Museum Boijmans for the long term loan of their Collection, it was his wife Anna, who readied the collection for the physical transfer. A number of drawings, mostly by François Boucher were framed and decorated the Flora Park’s staircase. They had to be taken out of their frames to be transported to Rotterdam. A few modern French drawings stayed in Haarlem and a few were on loan at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam:

F. II. 16-19 drawings from the “Toulouse Lautrec sketchbook”, ‘stays in Haarlem’ 6,

F. II. 75-81 drawings from the “Toulouse Lautrec sketchbook”, ‘stays in Haarlem’ 7,

F. II. 197 “The Two Lawyers” by Honoré Daumier; ‘stays in Haarlem’,

F. II. 28, 29, 34 are noted as ‘Leihgabe Reichsmuseum’, these drawings were on loan at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


Hitler’s eye was fixed on Koenigs’ world famous collection of drawings which would enable him to construe with the Johann Prinzen von Sachsen Collection the best drawing cabinet in Europe for his museum in Linz. Under duress of the thread of the Nazi regime, Lisser & Rosenkranz on 2 April 1940 liquidated their bank. To relinquish his debt Franz Koenigs had no other option then to transfer his collections to Lisser & Rosenkranz8. Van Beuningen, through the mediation of museum director Dirk Hannema, placed on 9 of April 19409 a limitative bid, valid for just 6 hours, for just 1 million. Fear did Lisser & Rosenkranz accept the offer within the hour. The Collection of Drawings and 12 major paintings thus transferred title to D.G. Van Beuningen. Within a few month Van Beuningen, through his son-in-law Lucas Peterich offered the complete collection of drawings to Hitler, who eventually bought a quarter of the collection on December 3, 1940.

Van Beuningen who had purchased 2,140 drawings for fl. 1,000,000, sold 528 drawings, for fl. 1,500,000, realizing a direct profit of fl. 500,000, But the actual profit was much higher, as Van Beuningen still held an unrealized profit in 1,612 remaining drawings. If the 1,612 drawings each had more or less the same value as the drawings sold to Hitler, then the total collection which van Beuningen bought from Lisser & Rosenkranz must have had a value of fl. 6,000,000 (i.e., 2,140/528 fl. 1,500,000). In 1940 fl. 6,000,000 corresponds with fl. 106 million in 2016 that is € 48 million or $ 55 million. This estimate is also in line with Van Beuningen’s own estimate when he offered the collection to Hitler10.

The above shows that the collection of drawings and the 12 paintings were therefore bought for 15 % of their actual value, which is neither reasonable nor fair. In this way the sale does not materially differ from looted art, which goes against the principle of reasonableness and fairness which prevails in The Netherlands. After all, the sale of the collection at a price of 85% below its actual value was only possible because Franz Koenigs had given the collections by way of collateral to Jewish bankers. The comparison with looted art is reinforced by Hannema and Van Beuningen selling out to Hitler, even though they had promised Franz Koenigs not to do so.

After the collection of drawings was sold, the successive curators added other works of art from Koenigs in the catalogue at museum Boijmans, works of art which had not been part of the collateral.

Since June 15, 1935, the catalogue of Museum Boijmans is kept at Museum Boijmans (van Beuningen). On May 20, 2014 a digital copy of this catalogue was given to the Koenigs heirs. This catalogue can be studied on their website, ‘De Collectie’, Catalogus Boijmans’.

The online website of the City Archive’s research frame 181_763 notes these lists of drawings date from 194011. These are exact retyped versions of the catalogue which is since 1935 kept at Museum Boijmans. They are all typed on cellulose paper used during the war. The Catalogue is ‘clean’, the added handwriting by the successive curators is missing and therefore the added handwriting in the museum catalogue must be of a later date: after the collateral was transferred to Lisser & Rosenkranz and after Van Beuningen had sold to Hitler and after he donated three quarters of the Koenigs Collection and 8 of the 12 paintings (Van Beuningen kept 4 paintings) to the foundation of Museum Boijmans. 

The handwriting by Anna Koenigs, ‘Leihgabe Reichsmuseum’ and her note ‘bleibt in Haarlem’ is exactly copied in these re-typed lists. The drawings pre-selected for the sale to Hitler are encircled in red. Van Beuningen on July 17, 1945 informed the Commissioner General for Dutch Economic Interests in Germany that the drawings sold to Hitler are all marked in the catalogue kept at Museum Boijmans.

The archive, 181_763 holds the following remaining lists:

- ENGLISH DRAWINGS, three copies; none of the English drawings were bought by Hitler
- FRENCH DRAWINGS up till 1800, one copy; this copy was handled by Max J. Friedländer when he evaluated the Collection for the sale to Hitler; it is his handwriting in pencil. He remarks “Prof. P. ausgesucht” behind the drawings no. 18, 31, 56, 86, 240, 244, 249, 254, 276, 279 and 29712; Hitler bought 55 drawings
- FRENCH II DRAWINGS after 1800 FII; none of the 19th century French drawings (impressionists) were bought by Hitler
- DUTCH SCHOOL, one copy: of which 29 drawings were bought by Hitler
- ITALIAN DRAWINGS, two copies; Posse selected 110 drawings for Hitler to purchase- ITALIAN DRAWINGS II
- NETHERLANDS SCHOOL, until 1600, these lists are not present, nothing was sold to Hitler

- REMBRANDT SCHOOL, one copy;  14 Rembrandt drawings  were sold to Hitler

- SPANISH DRAWINGS, one copy; of which Hitler purchased two drawings

- FLEMISCH DRAWINGS, three copies; of which 15 drawings were sold to Hitler

That the negotiations were lengthy and tough, the importance of the lists is shown by the following text:

Peterich aan Dr. Posse 17. oktober 1940: 
“Dann hätten Sie einen Stapen [sic] Zeichnungen und Hanema [sic]einen Stapel und dann tauschen Sie mit Ihm nach Ihrem Geschmack, da weder Sie alle Franzosen haben wollen noch er aller Franzosen hergeben will, so dass diese hauptsächlich für den Tausch in Frage käme. Auf diese Weise würden sich die beiderseitigen Wünsche besser ausgleichen, als wenn ich das ganz ohne Sie machen sollte. Denn dann ist es eben ein Tauschen und viel angenehmer, als das herausholen aus der Sammlung, wie es bisher war. Geheimrat F. hat alles Wichtige Blatt für Blatt durchgesetzt ohne zu wissen was der eine und was der andere bekommt, so dass dies den Tausch sehr erleichtern wird, da ja auf diese Weise die Werte in ihren Verhältnis unter einander von einem neutralen Sachverständigen bestimmt sind.”
Peterich aan Gesandtschaftsrat Wickel 18 okober 1940: 
“Die in meinem Brief genannte Liste werde ich Ihnen dieser Tage zu kommen lassen. Mehr Reproduktionen als im Katalog konnte ich leider nicht bekommen.”

Peterich aan Dr. Posse 11 november 1940 
“Die Listen von den Zeichnungen sind nunmehr fertig gestellt und ich werde sie morgen mit den genauen Preise versehen.”
Dr. Oertel assistent van Posse aan Wickel Gesandtschaftsrat 23 oktober 1940:
“Ein Exemplar des Verzeichnisses der deutschen Handzeichnungen lag uns hier bereits vor, ebenso der kleine gedruckte Franzosen-Katalog.”

Dr. Posse aan D.G. Van Beuningen Rotterdam 12. November 1940:

“Wie Ihnen Herr Peterich berichtet haben wird, ist aber die Durchsicht in der letzten Woche soweit fortgeschritten, dass nunmehr die genauen Listen mit den Preisen zusammengestellt werden können, und ich bin besonders Herrn Peterich sehr dankbar ...

Dr. Posse aan Peterich 15 november 1940:

“Sobald ich die Listen in den Händen haben bin ich bereit zu Ihnen zu kommen. Ich werde überdies (allerdings ohne die nötigen endgültigen Unterlagen) Gelegenheit haben, am Sonnabend meinem Auftraggeber [Hitler (CFK)] Bericht zu erstatten...”

Dr. Posse aan Dr. Boerner 22 november 1940:

“Zur Erfüllung der gesamtkaufsumme von eineinhalb Millionen Gulden habe ich weitere Zeichnungen aus den  niederländischen, italienischen und französischen Schulen ausgewählt, deren Verzeichnis beiliegen.

Dr. Boerner aan Dr. Hans Posse 23. november 1940:

“Ich bestätige den richtigen Eingang der Listen und lasse sie hier abschreiben und bringe dann auch das Original nach dem Haag mit.

Dr. Posse aan Peterich 9. Dezember 1940
Ihnen nochmals für alle Ihre Bemühungen zu danken, die in wesentlichster Weise einen Abschluss der Ankaufsverhandelungen für das Führer-Museum in Linz gefördert haben.

Peterich aan Dr. Posse 3. Januar 1941:

“Ich antworte etwas verspätet durch die Festtage, habe aber indessen doch die neue Listen mit allen Verbesserungen zusammengestellt und bringe diese heute zu Dr. Wickel um ein Exemplar zu Ihnen und ein anderes Dr. Börner schicken zu lassen”

Dr. Boerner aan Dr. Hans Posse 7. Januar 1941
“Heute traf aus dem Haag, vom Reichskommissar (Seyss-Inquart) die Liste des übernommen Teile der Sammlung Königs ein. Leider aber nur in einem einzigen Exemplar, weitere sollen angeblich an Sie direkt nach Dresden geschickt sein. Ich werde also unser Exemplar in den nächsten Tagen bearbeiten und mit Einzelpreisen ausschreiben und Ihnen übersenden, muss Sie aber bitten, dass Sie mir eine Abschrift von ein Ihrer Exemplare herstellen lassen und mir zusenden, denn ich muss hierbei meinen Akte haben, was ich taxiert habe.”


This special archive in Moscow houses the original Linz Archive. In 1945 Marshall Zhukov allowed the Americans to photograph the Linz Archive in Dresden. Prints of the photographs of the documents were first used in the Collecting Point Munich, after which they were archived at the National Archive in Bethesda Maryland. In the 1960’s the archives of the Collecting Point Munich, were transferred to the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz, Record Group B323.

After the Americans had photographed the Linz Archive in Dresden, the Russians took the Linz Archive with the Collections Koenigs, von Gutmann, Siemens, Scharf-Gerstenberg and many more collections to the Soviet Union. The art however was divided; a part ended up in the Hermitage or in Moscow. Parts of the Koenigs Collection ended up in Moscow and Ukraine. The Linz Archive ended up in the Osoby (special) archive near Moscow, were the lists are stored of the Collection Koenigs which were sent from Rotterdam to Prof. Dr. Hans Posse.


- GERMAN LIST DI and DII, complete

- GERMAN LIST DI and DII 2, complete, the German lists are no longer present in the Museum Archive 181_763. These lists were sent to Hans Posse who bought both German schools PRE-SELECTION








On the title page of the RKD catalogue, is written that the catalogue was a gift to the RKD by F. Koenigs in March 1941. In brackets reference is made to corr. 1941 E 21. This correspondence was found within the RKD archive ‘RKD 1932-1975’. The correspondence reveals that Dr. Jan van Gelder asked for permission to re-type the catalogue. Franz Koenigs agreed by stipulating that the catalogue should not be publicly accessible.
This catalogue other than the catalogue at Museum Boijmans, was kept at home and only given in March 1941 to the RKD. None of the later handwriting appears in this copy. Confirming that the 11 drawings, the two Fra Bartolommeo books, the French sketchbook and the 16 Pirckheimer books were not part of the Collection of Drawings.

However the title page lists 562 instead of 561 Italian drawings. The Gozzoli Skizzenbuch is added as no. 562 to the Italian drawings. The fact that the early Italian sketchbook (Gozzoli) is added to the RKD copy of the Collection of F. Koenigs is no proof that the sketchbook was part of the collateral, and therefore part of the sale to van Beuningen. After all, Franz Koenigs transferred title to Lisser & Rosenkranz on April 2, 1940, and only handed over the RKD copy in March 1940 after a quarter of the drawings were sold to Hitler. 

The deputy-director of the RKD, Dr. Jan Gerrit van Gelder asked Helmuth Lütjens on 19 March 1941, if he can have or borrow a copy of the type script catalogue of Koenigs; so he can copy the Dutch, Flemish, the Netherlands and the Rembrandt school. In exchange he suggests to Lütjens he will share some information. Unfortunately it remains guessing what information Jan van Gelder would have shared. Most probably his information would have been about the sale of Koenigs drawings to Hitler, which indeed would have been of interest to Koenigs. 


Lütjens replies Jan van Gelder on 24 March 1941, that Koenigs agrees. 

See: LETTER LÜTJENS TO VAN GELDER LETTER 24 MARCH 1941 (RKD 426 Archief van de RKD box 13 24.03.1941)

On March 28, 1941 Van Gelder acknowledges to Koenigs having received the catalogue from Lütjens, 
thanking him for this important document in reminiscence of this beautiful period which now lies behind them. He then confirms Koenigs specific wish, that the catalogue will never be available for the public.


After the war this RKD catalogue was used by the SNK (Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit), the Dutch equivalent of the Monuments Man to recuperate the drawings sold to Hitler. This catalogue, after having in vain fulfilled its purpose, ended up at the SNK files at the National Archive in The Hague under ‘dossier Koenigs’. Still 309 of the 528 drawings sold to Hitler are kept as ‘Trophee Art’ in the Pushkin Museum of Art in Moscow. The chance is nil they will ever return.
The cover page of this catalogue checks all schools, except for the English drawings, 18th Century and R 1-135 the Rembrandt drawings and his pupils. 
Though the English drawings are not checked, the catalogue does lists the English drawings, however the complete school of 135 Rembrandt and students are missing. 



28 October 1935 Museum Boijmans accepted from Dr. Nicolaas Beets the delivery of a number of drawings for Franz Koenigs. This receipt acknowledged by Museum Boijmans reads as follows:
1. LUCAS VAN LEYDEN: The marriage of Josef and Maria (round).
2. Circle of FR. COSSA: Mercuries.
3. BRUNSWIJKER MONGRAMMIST?: Study of a woman with a pleated headscarf.
4. CORNELISZ ANTHONISZ: Builders at work
    Christ before Annas of Cajaphas.
6. TOBIAS STIMMER attributed: Allegory: Mary and the child before Eve and the snake.
7. Unknown ITALIAN: Movement study of a naked man.
8. REMBRANDT, after Titian: the High priest
9. HENDRIK AVERKAMP: Portrait of a man,
10. and a woman.
11. WATTEAU: after a figure by Frans Hals’ painting ‘Rommelpot speler’.

These extra 11 drawings, were not evaluated and remained without a price attached to them, contrary to the other works. The 11 drawings arrived later and separately from the collateral at the Museum Boijmans on 28 Oktober 1935. They stayed at the Museum Boijmans due to the war and Koenigs early death. Most of the 11 drawings were given a MB (Museum Boijmans) status. The museum registered 7 of the 11 drawings as their own:

1. Lucas van Leyden MB 1456

2. Circle of Fr. Cossa: Mercurius MB 947
3. Brunswijker Monogrammist MB 1449
4. Cornelisz Anthonisz MB 1683

5. Lucas Cornelisz of Cornelis Cornelisz DI 282 added by Museum Boijmans in the Catalogue of Koenigs
    belonging to the Deutsche Schule.

6. Tobias Stimmer MB 246

7. Unknown Italian MB 774

8. Rembrandt, after Titian High Priest R 136 by Museum Boijmans listed as ‘outside catalogue’             

9. Hendrik Averkamp Portrait of a Man HA 5 HA Initials of Hendrik Averkamp and is probably
 inventoried as property of the City of Rotterdam.

10. Hendrik Averkamp Portrait of a Woman HA 6 idem no. 9.

11. Watteau: after a figure of Frans Hals ‘Rommelpotspeler’ FI 305 recto (No No) by Museum Boijmans added in the catalogue of Franz Koenigs held at Museum Boijmans.

The Museum Boijmans c.q. the city of Rotterdam never purchased the drawings, but they registered them as their own property. This appropriation by Museum Boijmans, at least proofs one good thing, they were never bought by van Beuningen and given to the Foundation of Museum Boijmans.

Apart from the Collateral, the Collection Old Master Drawings and Old Master Paintings securing the financial agreement between Koenigs and Lisser & Rosenkranz, Franz Koenigs had loaned other works, the 11 drawings and the 12 books to Museum Boijmans. The collateral, was secured by the catalogue of drawings and the catalogue of paintings on June 1, 1935. There is no evidence, art was added to this certified lists any time later by Koenigs in agreement with Lisser & Rosenkranz. 

Over the years curators added to the catalogue of Museum Boijmans, but the title page of the Boijmans catalogue stayed the same. The Italian drawings list 560 drawings but in handwriting on the last page of the Italian drawings the following books were added:

I no. 562 Gozzoli Skizzenbuch 

I no. 563 Fra Bartolomeo

     (M) Skizzenbuch I

     (N) Skizzenbuch II  (Page no. 147)

A handwriting expert recognized the handwriting as of curator Dr. Jan G. van Gelder, who was curator of prints and drawings from 1924 till December 1940. Van Gelder left Museum Boijmans December 1940 to replace Dr. H.C. Schneider, director of the RKD at The Hague, who stayed in Basel during the war.

The REMBRANDT drawing which is listed by Beets as no. 8 is titled: After Titian, “High Priest” is added to the catalogue at the Rembrandt School as no. 136, though its title page, as well as the RKD’s title page is not changed and just notes 135 Rembrandt drawings. At the Boijmans catalogue, one of the museum curators added on the last page the Rembrandt drawing no. 8 of Beets: “Outside catalogue. Standing Priest, with the left hand holding a staff (R. 136) Pen, brown wash, 215 x 140 mm.”  A handwriting expert attributes the added handwriting to Egbert Haverkamp Begemann, the curator of prints and drawings at Museum Boijmans from 1950-1957. 

The drawing delivered by Beets as no. 5. LUCAS CORNELISZ or attributed to CORNELIS CORNELISZ: ‘Christ standing before Annas of Cajaphas’, is added in handwriting as part of the German School till 1800 D I 282, 16th century as Christ of Cajaphas. This handwriting also belongs to prof. dr.  Egbert Haverkamp Begemann and strangely enough he adds this drawing to the German drawings, it being the only German drawing as all of the other 304 drawings were sold to Hitler.

On their own initiative, the successive curators added in their respective handwriting other artworks loaned by Franz Koenigs to Museum Boijmans to the catalogue of Museum Boijmans. ‘Added by their own initiative’ does by no means imply that these works of art were part of the collateral, for they do not appear on the certified lists. Nor was title of the 11 drawings and the 12 books transferred to Lisser & Rosenkranz, neither were they part of the sale to D.G. van Beuningen. 


December 3 1940, after Van Beuningen’s sale to Hitler was concluded, director Hannema  registered Van Beuningen’s gift, of the drawings of the Collection F. Koenigs at inv. number 33 for fl. 3,520,000, in the inventory book of the Foundation of Museum Boijmans. The drawings together with the 8 paintings are valued for fl. 5,850,000. 
Apart from the drawings at inv no. 33 the other Koenigs works are listed at no. 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and at inv. no. 58 the Slovenian woman by A. Dürer for fl. 40,000,- . 
This Dürer drawing DI 161 ‘Slovenian Woman’ and DI 42 ,Madonna auf der Sonnenkugeln schwebend‘ by Matthias Grünewald were chosen by Koenigs in 1939 for the World Fair exhibition in New York. Posse and Hitler insisted in buying the two drawings even though they were in America, and not returning in the foreseeable future. To secure the purchase of the two famous German drawings they bought extra Dutch drawings holding those for ransom for a later exchange. The Osoby archive has two different sets of Dutch of drawings, the first list values fl. 26,000, adding the second list of fl. 9,200, - . Both lists probably served as ransom for the two German Drawings. 

The two books (M) and (N) containing 500 drawings by Fra Bartolomeo are not at all registered in the inventory book, neither are the 11 drawings, nor is the Gozzoli sketchbook and the 16 Pirckheimer books are reduced to 8 books listed as by A. Dürer; ‘Eight books with some miniatures by A. Dürer’ and noted as owned by Collection F. Koenigs and valued at fl. 80,000.


The loan of the 11 drawings and 12 books were not part of the collateral, against the fear of war they were simply overseen. While Van Beuningen was selling the Collection of Drawings to Hitler, the rest of the art treasures including the 11 drawings and 12 books were stored in repositories, first in the Dunes at Heemskerck and then in the marl caves of the St. Pietersberg. After the war, Van Beuningen’s donation to the Foundation of the Collection Koenigs was never subject of any research. Apart from both collections, which served as collateral which were sold by Lisser & Rosenkranz, the 11 drawings delivered by Beets and the 12 books; the Italian sketchbook, the two books by Fra Bartolomeo, (M) and (N), the 8 (16) Pirckheimer books, and the French sketchbook still belong to Franz Koenigs.


1. Dirk Hannema (1895-1984) was director at Museum Boijmans from 1921-1945.
2. Museum Boijmans is a city owned museum.
3. Max J. Friedländer (1867-1958) was director paintings from 1924-1933 at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin. In 1933 he was fired for being Jewish. He was the expert of Dutch Painting. In 1939, the RKD helped Friedländer to escape the Nazi regime.
4. Dr. Hans Posse, general director of the museums in Dresden, was on 21 June 1939, installed by Hitler as his special agent to collect the most outstanding collection, reflecting the Nazi ideology for his museum in his hometown Linz, in Austria, yet to be built by Albert Speer.
5. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische en iconografische Documentatie in The Hague.
6. By donation these drawings are at the Pierpont Morgan library in New York City, New York, USA 
7. idem
8. Such transfer of title is, null and void under Dutch law. (Article 1200 BW old.)
9. On April 9, 1940, Hitler had started his attack on the West and concurred Norway and Denmark, he was expected to invade the Netherlands on April 12, 1940. The imminent acute thread of the invasion determined Lisser & Rosenkranz’ negotiation position.
10. Koblenz Archive B 323: Lucas Peterich writes to Hans Posse August 5, 1940
11. City Archive of Rotterdam, 181_763 Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

12. Prof. P. is Professor Hans Posse, Friedländer’s former colleague when working for Wilhelm von Bode in Berlin. Posse is the Sonderbeauftragter of Hitler installed on 21 June 1939 for the Museum in Linz.