Picasso Portrait Withdrawn

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Thu, 11/09/2006 - 17:14.

Only adding to the excitement surrounding the art auctions of the last few days, Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, a blue period painting by Picasso from 1903 was withdraw from Wednesday's auction, its provenance clouded claims that it  should be counted among the art looted by the Nazis. Andrew Lloyd Webber's charitable foundation is the current owner and consigner. The British composer bought the painting for the foundation in 1995. He had hoped  the funds from  the auction Wednesday would benefit the foundation. A Federal Judge in Manhattan, Jed Rakoff decided that the Federal court has no jurisdiction over the case and the auction could go on; however, the man who claims to be rightful owner, Julius Schoep, heir of a Jewish baker and art collector living in Berlin, plans to take his claims to the lower court. Andrew Lloyd Webber's foundation willingly withdrew the painting. Hopefully these claims, which sound spurious will not hurt the value of the work.

Another interesting fact, Angel Fernandez de Soto died in the Spanish Civil War.