Seven paintings were mentioned in the news release. Six were stolen in France.
The seventh was The Halt, by Dutch artist Pieter Jansz van Asch—whose self-portrait is shown to the right. The painting was originally taken by the Prague Gestapo but later found its way to the Louvre by mistake.
All seven painting had been earmarked by the Nazis for the art museum that Hitler had planned to build in Linz, in Austria.Much is known about the theft of European art, particularly by Hitler—who was, himself, something of an amateur artist—and Hermann Goering, Luftwaffe Chief, would-be connoisseur, and collector on a grand scale.
Paintings stolen in France were usually taken by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), and made their way via Paris’s Jeu de Paume to Germany. French Resistance heroine Rose Valland played a major role in the recovery of many such works of art.
Hitler’s ‘Linz project’ is described in the book by Anglo-Austrian journalist Charles de Jaeger: The Linz File: Hitler’s Plunder of Europe’s Art (Wiley, 1981). De Jaeger’s book describes Hitler’s early life as an aspiring artist, and includes reproductions of some of Hitler’s sketches (e.g. of the Hofbrauhaus in Munich) and paintings.