Pierre Knowaloff sued the school for ownership of the painting, The Night Cafe, saying his family were the rightful owners.
The painting, worth between $120 million and $150 million, was allegedly purchased by Knowaloff's grandfather, Ivan Morozov, in 1908. The painting was then seized by the Russian government in 1918 during the communist revolution when all personal property was nationalized.
The judge agreed with Yale's lawyers, who said Russia's actions didn't violate international law at the time.
“We’re pleased that the court has dismissed Konowaloff’s claims. The Night Cafe is a timeless masterpiece that the public can see free of charge, and in this suit Yale has worked to make sure it stays that way," Yale lawyer Jonathan Freiman said.