As suspenseful as a thriller and incredibly moving, Pauline Baer de Perignon’s stunningly crafted memoir traces what happened to her great-grandfather’s precious art collection after it was stolen from his Paris apartment during by the Gestapo in 1942.
A charming and heartfelt story about war, art, and the lengths a woman will go to to find the truth about her family.
It all started with a list of paintings. There, scribbled by a cousin she hadn't seen for years, were the names of the masters whose works once belonged to her great-grandfather, Jules Strauss: Renoir, Monet, Degas, Tiepolo and more. Pauline Baer de Perignon knew little to nothing about Strauss, or about his vanished, precious art collection.
But the list drove her on a frenzied trail of research in the archives of the Louvre and the Dresden museums, through Gestapo records, and to consult with Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. What happened in 1942? And what became of the collection after Nazis seized her great-grandparents' elegant Parisian apartment?
The quest takes Pauline Baer de Perignon from the Occupation of France to the present day as she breaks the silence around the wrenching experiences her family never fully transmitted, and asks what art itself is capable of conveying over time.
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm