In less than two weeks, I’ll be heading to Boston, and once there, I’ll be sure to stop by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, site of one of the world’s biggest art thefts.
ABOVE: Johannes Vermeer, The Concert, circa 1664, oil on canvas, 28.5 x 25.5 inches
BELOW: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633, oil on canvas, 63 x 50.4 inces
Established in 1903, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a must see for anyone visiting Boston. In addition to works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Titian, the museum is perhaps best known for a theft that occurred on March 18, 1990. On that day, thieves made off with an estimated $500 million worth of art.
In total, thirteen pieces were stolen, among them Vermeer’s The Concert, and Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (both can be seen in the photos above). It is believed that the stolen artworks were specifically targeted as some of the museums more expensive pieces were left untouched. Who stole the work, and their motive for doing so, remains unknown.
Despite a reward of $10 million, no one has been apprehended, nor any of the artwork returned. In place of the stolen masterpieces, hang thirteen empty frames. Hopefully, some day, they will be filled.