Two Impressionist Paintings Recovered – Madness!

Poppies Near Vetheuil by Claude MonetTwo of the four impressionist paintings stolen from the Bührle Collection in Zurich have been found. Does anyone else find the circumstances bizarre? A week and a half after being stolen, the Claude Monet (Poppies Near Vetheuil) and the Vincent Van Gogh (Blossoming Chestnut Branch) were found in the parking lot of a Zurich, Switzerland psychiatric institution, reportedly by a parking lot attendant.

A glaring sign that the robbers are mental cases? Just sitting there in the back of an unlocked white car, completely unharmed. The robbers don’t like pictures of beautiful flowers? How dare they cast aside that ravishing Monet! The other two stolen paintings, still not found, were portraits. And sorry for my uneducated opinion, but not pleasant to look at. Count Lepic and His Daughters (Edgar Degas), with the Count appearing rather hideous and his daughters like castaway dolls; and the mournful looking Boy in a Red Waistcoat by Paul Cezanne — would you want these hanging on your wall? Of course you would, if you’re a mental case.

Count Lepic and his Daughters, Edgar DegasPerhaps there’s something we don’t know about here. Was a ransom paid for the two returned paintings? And the two still at large, the more valuable ones, perhaps waiting a larger ransom? Why else undergo such a high risk theft only to return two of the masterpieces less than two weeks later? Only if you’re a raving lunatic.

Of interest: Kayla Webley’s Art Crime Blog and Stolen Vermeer.

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3 Responses to Two Impressionist Paintings Recovered – Madness!

  1. heather says:

    Wow, that is amazing.

  2. e-Mom says:

    Mysterious! A fun post. :~d

  3. Kayla Webley says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for linking to me! You raise an interesting point — why go to all the trouble of stealing four paintings just to dump two of them in a nearby lot? Makes it seem as though the theft was either very unplanned or, as you said, there was a ransom that was not reported.

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