We love stories about stolen artworks. Here is a stolen art story that hit the newspapers a little over a week ago:
One day in 1879, Renoir is sitting in a café by the Seine minding his own business. On that particular day, his business consists of impressing his mistress, so he takes a linen napkin off the table and sketches out a pretty little landscape, which he creatively titles ‘Landscape by the Seine’.
130 Years later, Mrs PE teacher is minding her own business at a flea market, which in her case consists of buying a flea market combo pack consisting of a few trinkets and a picture frame. She stores the picture frame in a garbage bag for almost three years, and then takes it out and shows it to her mom, Mrs Art Teacher. Mrs Art Teacher noticed that a very prominent plaque on the frame says ‘RENOIR’ in 32 point all caps, and that there is also a note glued to the back of the stretcher bars which also says ‘Renoir’. They call in an expert, who promptly confirms that the painting is authentic.
Fast forward another three years to last Friday, when a federal judge ruled that the painting must be returned to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Turns out the museum reported it stolen in 1951. Oh well…
Note to current and future artist’s mistresses: landscapes can be a bit boring, so for Sartle’s sake, please ask your down low partners to paint, sketch, or sculpt something more exciting for you! If Renoir’s mistress had done that, we might be enjoying another awesome Renoir nude.