One of the paintings by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian has decades hung upside down in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhei-Westfalen
The German museum revealed this at a press conference at the opening of an exhibition in honor of Mondrian’s 150th birthday. The museum added the painting to its collection in 1980.
"New York City I" (1941)
In a photograph taken shortly after Mondrian's death in his studio, the tape painting can still be seen in a different orientation on the easel: The denser stripes are on the upper edge and thus run exactly as in the oil painting with the same title in Paris.
The mistake, however, does not lie in Düsseldorf: the tape painting had already been turned 180 degrees shortly after Mondrian's death in 1944. The picture has already been entered into the catalogue raisonné in the wrong orientation.
The Kunstsammlung does not want to turn the tape painting around, primarily for restoration reasons. For years, the adhesive strips have hung in one direction; a rotation could be fatal.