Thursday, June 5, 2008

Impressionism lost and found

Word comes today that four paintings stolen last year from the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice have been recovered in Marseilles. The paintings, by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Jan Brueghel (two of his were swiped), were found in a car, and arrests have been made in Nice, according to a brief item in today's International Herald Tribune.

In celebration of its recovery, I have posted a photo of Sisley's "Lane of Poplars at Moret-sur-Loing," one of the stolen paintings. Sisley is one of my favorite Impressionists, but he has long lived under the shadow of Monet, Renoir, et al. By the way, Moret-sur-Loing is a beautiful, well-preserved village on the Loing River easily reached on a day trip from Paris. I have spent several lovely Sunday afternoons there. You can see some photos of it here.

Photo: REUTERS/Cheret Museum/Handout (FRANCE). EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Addendum (June 6): Today's issue of Le Monde points out that this is the third time the Sisley painting reproduced above has been stolen. The first time was in 1978, when it was on loan for a exhibition in Marseilles; the second time in 1998, in an earlier theft from the Nice museum where the curator himself plotted the robbery. Perhaps a little better security would be in order?


Woody said...

The photographs are much sharper than the painting. Actually, that is a lovely painting, and I'm glad that it was recovered. Now, maybe they will take proper steps to protect these in the future.

Michael Balter said...

Well, you know those Impressionists, they probably all needed glasses. The robbers came in with guns and made everyone lie on the floor, so I guess a squad of armed security guards would be needed--just have to hope not too many bullet holes in the paintings during the shootout. But I know I can count on you to support a military solution, right Woody?

Woody said...

Why didn't the impressionists think to paint on bullet-proof canvas?