playing card G3: Camille Pissarro: Bords de la Seine à Bougival (1871)April 14, 2020
playing card F4: Edgar Degas: Portrait of Count Lepic and his daughters (1870)April 14, 2020
Jan Vermeer: The Concert (1664)
longest side (cm)
est. value ($ mill.)
Jan Vermeer van Delft
Jan Vermeer van Delft's painting The concert is just one of around 37 works of art known worldwide that are awarded to the Dutch master. It was completed by the baroque painter around 1664 and has the dimensions 72.5 x 64.7 cm. It was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day in March 1990.
Description of the oil painting “The Concert”
The painting shows a scene in which three people play together. According to general art history, the person in the middle is supposed to be a man, although he has long hair and you can only see him from behind. The lady on the left plays a spinet or piano, while the lady on the right holds a sheet and sings. The alleged man seems to be playing a guitar, perhaps an old baroque rock star. Music scenes in paintings are said to symbolize love and seduction at the time of the Baroque. So Jan Vermeer captured a kind of Elvis Presley with female accompaniment in his picture.
The art theft from Vermeer's painting “The Concert”
While all of Boston was celebrating St. Patrick's Day in March 1990, the doorbell rang late in the evening at the main entrance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The security service in the museum keeps watch like every other day. The value of the Stewart Gardner Museum is immeasurable: a total of around two and a half thousand important art history exhibits can be viewed here. Just not at night, especially not for regular visitors.
With security cameras (there were no webcams yet), the guards saw two police officers standing at the entrance. "A silent alarm was raised, can we come in?" it sounds through the intercom. The security guards' regulations clearly state that you should never open the doors without first informing the museum director. Even better, you check the silent alarm, then send the waiting policemen away from the door and do not need to inform the museum director at all, especially not on St Patrick's Day, a holy holiday. But contrary to all regulations, the guards open the door and let the two police officers enter.
Works of art worth over half a billion dollars stolen
Now everything happens very quickly: Both guards are overwhelmed, tied up and gagged by the police and locked in different rooms. The next day the whole world knows: Two thieves disguised as police officers deliberately stole 13 works of art worth $ 300 million at the time - which corresponds to a current value of about $ 540 million. Among the paintings is Jan Vermeer's artwork Das Konzert. The particularly tragic thing about it is that it has not yet emerged.
The paintings have not appeared until today. The FBI suspects the Irish gangster James Bulger, who was arrested in California in June 2011, behind this spectacular art robbery - but for 19 times murder, drug trafficking, extortion and money laundering. Some claim that Burgler stole the works of art that night in 1990 in an attempt to alleviate the circumstances after his eventual arrest - this strategy is said to be common among criminals.