When we discuss life, we often stumble upon the meaning of it, and this issue has bothered great thinkers for millennia; each generation of philosophers tried to introduce their idea of this notion. Of course, it is a subjective matter, but one thing that most people would agree on is that art is what gives life beauty and meaning. As the saying goes: “Science is what we need to live, but art is what we live for.”
Regardless of what your opinion of art is, you cannot help but admire a beautiful painting when you see it. A person might not have the necessary knowledge to discern between different time periods in the history of art, but they can still be moved by a great piece. Those who are really passionate about art, however, invest themselves a bit more.
Passion for art
Generally, people who love art (provided that they have the money, of course) get into the hobby of collecting it, which includes paying large, and sometimes ludicrous sums of money for certain pieces of art. However, not all pieces of art are affordable, nor are they even available for sale, as they are under the protection of certain museums or governments. This is precisely the reason why there is a demand for stolen paintings, and why people would go to great lengths to acquire them, by any means necessary.
This may seem like a novelty, but people have been stealing art for a long time. One of the thefts that affected the whole world was the stealing of Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. The painting and the thief were missing for four years, to be found and the painting restored to the museum in 1914. However, there are some paintings that were stolen, and that are missing to this day.
It is very difficult to say how many paintings are missing today in the world because some owners do not want to admit to their paintings being stolen, as it may damage their reputation. However, there are some famous pieces of art known to be missing, like Rembrandt’s Landscape with Cottages, which was stolen in 1972, or The Concert by Vermeer, stolen in 1990. Other notable works include Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise, stolen at the turn of the century, and Van Gogh’s Poppy Flowers. The latest notable art theft happened in March 2020, when Van Gogh’s The Parsonage Garden and Nuenen was stolen. Of course, not all stolen paintings survive, as some are believed to be lost or destroyed.
This mainly happens due to the carelessness of the thieves, or because of the mistreatment by the new owner of the painting. There are several very significant works of art that were stolen, and that are rumored to be either lost or destroyed due to improper treatment. Some of them are Caravaggio’s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, Picasso’s Le pigeon aux petits pois, as well as Van Eyck’s The Just Judges. Regardless of whether these rumors are true, this is a very interesting subject for exploring, as each theft has a very interesting story that follows it, as well as the history and the trace the stolen paintings leave as they change owners, which make each story look like a real-life detective novel. Even if you are not that big of a fan of art, you will certainly enjoy the thrilling stories about theft.