Twenty-seven years after two thieves disguised as police officers talked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, tied up the guards and fled with masterpieces worth an estimated $500 milion, it remains the world’s largest art heist and one of Boston’s most baffling mysteries.
For 81 minutes during the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, the thieves pulled and slashed treasured works from their frames. They stole 13 pieces, including three Rembrandts, among them his only seascape, “Storm on the Sea of Galilee”; Vermeer’s “The Concert”; and works by Flinck, Manet and Degas.
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Forgotten in the hubub of the Gardner Heist, is what these paintings actallly look like. Decades later we appear no closer to the recovery of these lost masterpieces, and before amnesia sets in (omerta achieved) and we truly forget what was taken, aside from dollar value cited, these are the works. With the advent of the internet, finally, higher definition photos courtesy of the F.B.I. have arrived.
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), The Concert, painted circa 1660, 72.5 cm by 64.7 cm (28.5 in × 25.5 in), oil on canvas
Perhaps the most valuable work of art ever stolen. Worth $200 million plus.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 160 cm by 128 cm (62.99 in × 50.39 in), oil/canvas
Owing to its extremely large size, this was one of the two paintings cut from the frame to make room on an obviously too small get away vehicle.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), A Lady and Gentleman in Black, 1633, 131.6 cm by 109 cm (51.8 in × 43 in), oil/canvas
This work too was cut from its frame, a victim again of its sheer size. Long attributed to Rembrandt, scholars in the Netherlands started to express their doubts when the painting was stolen.
Govaert Teuniszoon Flinck (1615–1660), Landscape with Obelisk, 1638, 54.5 cm by 71 cm (21.5 in × 28 in), oil/wood
Rumored to be somewhere in America, wiseguys on the street have called the above, "Scenery wit' a needle".
Édouard Manet (1832-1883), Chez Tortoni, 1878, 26 cm by 34 cm (10 in × 13 in), Oil on canvas
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Sortie Pesage, 10 cm by 16 cm, 4 by 6 inches, pencil and watercolor on paper
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Cortege, 6 inches high (15.6 cm) and 8 inches long (20.6 cm)., pencil and watercolor on paper
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Three Mounted Jockeys, 12 inches high by 9.5 inches long (30 cm by 24 cm), mixed media on paper
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Program for an artistic soiree 1, charcoal on paper, likely similar size as the next one
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Program for an artistic soiree 2, 10 inches (25 cm) by about 12 inches (31 cm). A second Degas sketch represents a less-finished version of the first.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), Self Portrait Etching, 1634, 1.75 by 2 in, ink on paper
Napoleonic Eagle finial, which formerly afixed to the pole of a silk Napoleonic flag, circa 1812-1814, gilded bronze piece, 25cm or 10 inches
Ku bronze beaker, Shang Dynasty, China, dates to 1200 B.C. and 1100 B.C., 10 inches (25 cm) tall and weighs 2 pounds, 7 ounces (1.1 kilograms)
You may also like to read:
* "Priceless" Evening at the Frick Collection, Agent Robert Wittman on Art Theft
* Gardner Heist Perps, Unmasked At Last?
* Who Did The Gardner Heist & Did The Canary Finally Sing?
* With Remains Identified, An Old Killer Comes Back Into Focus
* One of the Gardner Perps Back in Trouble - Now There's a Surprise
* Bobby DeLuca goes Canary on "Cadillac Frank" Salemme for old Boston rub out