Classical Art

The Story of Top 7 Paintings That Went Missing

Vermeer The concert - one of the most famous missing paintings

The Concert by Johannes Vermeer

The Concert was painted by Johannes Vermeer in 1664. It depicts an alluring scene of a man and two women performing music. This is one of the famous missing paintings which was part of a large art heist that occurred in 1990 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the morning of March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers broke into the museum and stole The Concert and twelve other works in what is considered the largest art theft in U.S. history. To date, the heist remains unsolved. With a value estimated at US$ 250 million, it is one of the most valuable missing artworks around the world.

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, by Rembrandt van Rijn, was snatched in a robbery alongside the Vermeer. Believed to be the only seascape by Rembrandt, the painting is a depiction of Jesus and the miracle of calming the Sea of Galilee from the Gospel of Mark. This painting was made in the year 1633 and is also amongst the most valuable missing artworks in the world. Several recent developments related to the theft by the FBI have revealed that they know the culprits of the crime and that the theft was carried out by an organized crime group rather than one individual. However, there have been no further announcements related to the same since 2013. Any information on the robbery would lead to a $5 million reward. Empty frames of the stolen paintings are still displayed at the museum.

The Battle of Anghiari

The Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo Da Vinci

The Battle of Anghiari often referred to as “The Lost Leonardo” is a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Made around the year 1505, the central scene of the painting depicted four men riding raging war horses at the Battle of Anghiari in 1440. In March 2012, a team led by Maurizio Seracini found evidence that the painting still exists on a hidden inner wall behind a cavity, underneath a section of Giorgio Vasari’s fresco in the chamber. The search was discontinued in September 2012, without any further progress due to political and public outcry.

Portrait of a Young Man

Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael

Often thought to be a self-portrait given the striking similarity in facial features, Portrait of a Young Man is a painting by Raphael. Made around the year 1513, and snatched by the Nazis in Poland, it is regarded as one of the most important missing paintings since World War II. Belonging to the period of the High Renaissance, the portrait depicts a confident and well-dressed young man, with Raphael’s intricate emphasis on poise, gesture, and texture. The painting is an expression of Mannerist finesse with the attributes of the noble class. This painting was last sighted in Kraków when it was placed in the Wawel Royal Castle. The present location of the painting is still unknown. There emerged a false report about the painting’s rediscovery in 2012 but was soon understood to be a hoax. Historians suggest that if the artwork were to reappear today, it would be worth more than 100 million US dollars.

Poppy Flowers by Van Gogh

Poppy Flowers by Van Gogh

Poppy Flowers, painted by Vincent van Gogh and also known as Vase and Flowers, was stolen from Cairo’s Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in August 2010. With an estimated value of $50 million, the painting is yet to be found. The painting illustrates yellow and red poppy flowers against a dark-themed background and measures just 65 x 54 centimeters. It is believed that Van Gogh painted this work out of admiration for Adolphe Monticelli. The is also one of the famous missing paintings and is believed to have been made by Van Gogh just three years before his suicide.

Mona Lisa Painting

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

The theft of the Mona Lisa from the Musée du Louvre in Paris in 1911 caused an international sensation. Hidden in a broom closet by the museum employee Vincenzo Peruggia, it was recovered two years later and was returned to the museum in 1914. In the year 2020, the Mona Lisa was estimated to be worth more than $860 million. The whereabouts of many luxurious stolen artworks, however, have yet to be found.

Van Mieris a Cavalier-missing painting

A Cavalier by Frans van Mieris

In 1657, there was one of the biggest art crimes, and that was of the famous painting by Frans van Mieris. A Cavalier is one of the most amazing works by Dutch Artist Frans van Mieris. This artwork is in the oil on canvas medium and a self-portrait of artist Frans van Mieris. It was on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales when it was stolen. The estimated value of this painting was about $1 million.

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