Woman With a Fan (Lunia Czechowska)
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ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

When committing crimes don't throw away your bargaining chip. Especially if it's Amedeo Modigliani's Woman With a Fan.

Sometimes refered to as Lunia Czechowska after the model, who sat for ten other portraits.

Lunia and her husband were good friends with Modigliani's art dealer, which is why he painted her so often. Just goes to show it's all about your connections!

One of five paintings stolen in May 2010 from the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris with a, wildly estimated, combined value between $200 - 600 million. It was dubbed ‘the heist of the century’ by media outlets. The criminal, known as ‘The Spiderman,’ inelegantly broke a window to get into the museum. He was only going to take one painting but wandered around the museum for more than an hour shopping when the alarm didn’t go off. Apparently, the security system had been down for more than a month.

Other players in this crime: an antique shop owner who is accused of commissioning the theft and a watch repairman who got nervous and claims to have THROWN THE PAINTINGS AWAY. What kind of idiot throws away the one bargaining chip they have? Don’t any of these people do their crime research? Idiots.

Other paintings taken in this heist: Picasso’s Dove with Green Peas, Matisse’s Pastoral, Braque’s The Olive Tree Near Estaque, and the intended mark, Léger’s Still Life with Candlestick.

In the psychological thriller film Trance (2013), featuring James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson, Dawson hypnotizes McAvoy and this painting can be seen along with several other lost or destroyed artworks. 

Daniel Craig’s latest adventure as James Bond in Skyfall (2012), with an awesome nod to Dr. No (1962) and its brazen addition of the then recently stolen Portrait of the Duke of Wellington, depicts our resident bad girl Séverine using this recently stolen-in-real-life painting as bait for an assassination.