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Count Lepic and His Daughters
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Arty Fact

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Not many stolen paintings are returned. We can count ourselves lucky that Count Lepic and His Daughters was only a temporary casualty.

In 2008, three men in ski masks raided the E.G. Burhle Foundation. They took with them four paintings: a Van Gogh, a Monet, a Cezanne, and Degas’ portrait of Ludovic Lepic with his daughters. The same year, the other paintings were found and seized from a van in a parking lot. Talk about art burglary fails. This one, though, was returned five years later.

Ludovic Lepic was a French aristocrat who did a little bit of everything, including art and archaeology. It was the kind of lifestyle that was trending among high-born men of the time. They would retain their titles (Lepic was a Viscount) and pursue a life of serious hobbies (etching). Not so far away, Edgar Degas was living a similarly charmed life. Degas and Ludovic went to the same schools and eventually hung out with the same people. They would end up bumping into each other at operas or theatres and also collaborated on artistic pursuits. Ludovic features in as many as 11 of Degas’ paintings. Another painting of Lepic and his girls crossing the Place de la Concorde was completed in 1876.

Lepic married Josephine Barral in 1865. Their daughters would have been about 3 years old when Degas painted them. Eylau was the older one, and Jeanine was the younger. Lepic held Jeanine up with his left arm, as she was still enjoying baby status. The girls seem to adore their father. They don’t know that he’s going to leave their mum and shack up with a ballerina in a few years. 

 

Sources

Sources

  1. Abegg, Ernst E. “$163M Art Heist from Swiss Museum.” thestar.com, February 11, 2008. https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2008/02/11/163m_art_heist_from_swi....
  2. Press, The Associated. “SEE IT: Serbian and Swiss Police Raid Nets Stolen Cezanne Painting; Four Men Arrested .” nydailynews.com. New York Daily News, January 10, 2019. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/serbian-swiss-police-raid-nets-st...
  3. “Vicomte Ludovic Lepic.” FAMSF Search the Collections, September 21, 2018. https://art.famsf.org/vicomte-ludovic-lepic.
  4. Smith, Roberta. “The Modern Degas You Haven't Seen.” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 24, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/arts/design/the-moderndegas-you-haven....
  5. Dombrowski, André. "History, Memory, and Instantaneity in Edgar Degas's "Place De La Concorde"." The Art Bulletin 93, no. 2 (2011): 195-219. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23046593.
  6. Hoakley. “Degas' Circle: Before Impressionism.” The Eclectic Light Company, August 11, 2017. https://eclecticlight.co/2017/08/22/degas-circle-before-impressionism/.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Count Lepic and His Daughters

Ludovic Lepic and His Daughters (French: Ludovic Lepic et ses filles) is a painting by Edgar Degas that was completed around 1871. The painting depicts Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic with his young daughters. Degas also depicted Ludovic Lepic in the painting Place de la Concorde.

On February 10, 2008, the painting was stolen from Foundation E.G. Bührle in Zürich, Switzerland. It was recovered in April 2012 with slight damage.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Count Lepic and His Daughters.