Ferdinand Bol's "King Pyrrhus"

Ferdinand Bol's "King Pyrrhus" will be on display during the Norton Museum of Art's Art After Dark series in West Palm Beach. (Norton Museum of Art/Courtesy / January 22, 2014)

Ferdinand Bol's 1656 painting "King Pyrrhus" is among the oldest works in the Norton Museum of Art's private collection, but its role as looted Nazi treasure during World War II is the subject of a talk Thursday night at the museum.

Jerry Dobrick, the Norton's associate curator of European art, will deliver a presentation titled "Looted! The Fate of Europe's Masterpieces During WWII" during the museum's every-Thursday Art After Dark series to coincide with the upcoming theatrical release of the George Clooney-directed movie "The Monuments Men."

Taken from an Amsterdam gallery by high-ranking Nazi official Hermann Goering — perhaps the second biggest Nazi art thief after Adolf Hitler — the painting was liberated from the Germans in May 1945 and wound up in the Norton's collection in 2007, Dobrick says.

"It's one of those sensational stories you rarely hear about concerning a masterwork and its provenance," Dobrick says. "The painting was found abandoned in a rail car in Berchtesgaden, Germany, which served as Hitler’s retreat during the war."


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The comedy-drama "The Monuments Men," out Feb. 7, stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman as a group of art historians and collectors recruited by the military to track down art confiscated by the Nazis.

Along with Dobrick's presentation, the Art After Dark event will also feature music from country-folk duo Friction Farm. The movie's distributor, Sony Pictures, will give away free hats, T-shirts and admission passes to screenings of "The Monuments Men."

The Norton Museum of Art's Art After Dark runs 5-9 p.m. Thursday at the museum, 1451 S. Olive Ave., in West Palm Beach. Admission is $5-$12, half-price on Thursdays. Call 561-832-5196 or go to Norton.org.

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