Heirs of Legendary Picasso Dealer Ambroise Vollard Suing Serbia

Bullet Shih Apr, 2012 1
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Picasso's Portrait of Vollard

Reuters is reporting that three French heirs of famous early 20th century art dealer Ambroise Vollard are suing Serbia over a cache of works that they believe were unlawfully appropriated by the Yugoslav government.  The 429 artworks have a curious history.  After Vollard died in a car crash in 1939, the paintings were transferred into the custody of Vollard’s assistant, a young Croatian Jew named Erich Slomovic.  David D’Arcy writes in artnet.com that

By 1940, the Nazi blitzkrieg had already struck Poland and would soon crush France. Slomovic rented his safe deposit box in his father’s name at the Societe Generale and returned to Yugoslavia. He took another 400 works of art with him, thanks to the assistance of Yugoslav diplomats in Paris. Slomovic originally planned an exhibition of the works in Belgrade, the country’s capital, but mounted the show of paintings, watercolors, drawings and books in a fine arts center in Zagreb instead…In any case, soon after the 1940 Zagreb exhibition came down, the Nazis marched into Yugoslavia, and Slomovic, fearing the worst as a Jew, fled with his family to a village outside Belgrade. In a farmhouse there, he hid his pictures in four metal containers and one round cylinder behind a false wall. Eventually, local people betrayed the family to the Nazis, who detained Slomovic along with his father and brother. Soon the three were transferred with other Jews to an execution camp. They were gassed in a truck that was converted into a mobile killing unit. Erich Slomovic was 27.


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  1. gerald Donnelly Sep, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    The legal action concerning Vollard and Serbia. I am a Special Court Monitor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Court has under it’s control the Guardianship of Zdenka Slomovic, cousin of Eric Slomovic. We are attempting to learn the names of the individuals that are seeking to recover the art work that was in the possesion of Eric Slomovic.Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
    Gerald Donnelly Special Court Monitor
    17th Circuit Court of Florida

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