A painting of a famous artist could cost several million bucks in the market. This is why many artworks – even those that are housed inside highly guarded museums – go missing. Here is a list of some of the most famous paintings that were lost, stolen or destroyed, that have yet to be recovered.
10. Paul Cezanne’s View of Auvers Sur Oise
Lost on December 31, 1990, this art work that used to be on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was stolen the night before the city’s Millennium celebration. The thieves planned the heist in time with the fireworks display during peak of the celebrations. This artwork, which Paul Cezanne never signed or dated, is estimated to be worth $5 million.
9. Govert Flinck’s Landscape with an Obelisk
Stolen in March 18, 1990, this artwork is part of the $300 million art heist that was staged at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston. This painting by Governt Flinck was previously believed to be a Rembrandt creation. A hefty cash reward of $5 million will be given to the person who can provide information leading to the recovery of the painting.
8. Johannes Vermeer’s The Concert
Also displayed at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, this painting is one of the 13 stolen pieces in the biggest art theft that happened on March 18, 1990. This painting is regarded to be one of the most valuable paintings that were lost in that heist.
7. Vincent Van Gogh’s Poppy Flowers
Housed at the Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, this artwork has been twice stolen from the same place. It was first lost in 1977 but was recovered 10 years after. The second time this same Vincent Van Gogh painting was stolen was in August of 2010. The painting is estimated to be worth something between $50 and $55 million.
6. Rembradt van Rijn’s The Storm on the Sea of Galillee
This painting depicts Rembrandt’s interpretation of Jesus Christ’s calming of the sea, which was an incident chronicled in the Christian Bible. It was Rembrandt’s only seascape artwork. It was also assumed that he took the liberty of adding himself in the portrait, as Jesus only has 12 disciples and the artwork depicted 14 people on board.
5. Caravaggio’s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence
The painting was on display at the church of San Lorenzo in Sicily. It was a fairly huge painting, measuring almost six square meters in size. It was believed that the thieves removed the painting from its frame prior to taking it away. The painting was stolen along with a few other precious items owned by the church.
4. Pablo Picasso’s Le Pigeon Aux Petits
Stolen on May 20, 2010, this painting by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso is worth $28 million. It was stolen at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, along with five other artworks. However, the theft threw the painting away in a trashcan when they were caught. But that container was emptied before the authorities got there. It was feared that the painting was already destroyed.
3. Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge London
This painting was stolen on October 15, 2012 from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam. It was taken along with another Claude Monet painting, the one entitled ‘Charing Cross Bridge London’. It was feared that these paintings were already burnt by the thieves or their accomplice.
2. Jan Van Eyck’s The Just Judges
Stolen on April 10, 1934, this painting is yet to be recovered up to this date. And given the length of time that it went missing, many curators believe that the painting has already been destroyed. This masterpiece used to be displayed at the Saint Bravo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. It was remembered that at one point, the bishop of Ghent received a demand for ransom to recover the painting, and it amounted to a million Belgian francs.
1. Vincent Van Gogh’s Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen
This painting, which used to be displayed at the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, was stolen on December 7, 2002. It was Vincent’s gift to his parents. The painting has seen various revisions, indicating the many times that Van Gogh changed it to depict the present condition of his parents