Art Thieves Strike Again.

“On Thursday (May 20) art thieves broke into the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and stole $123m of paintings, including a Matisse and a Picasso. Friday (May 21) two men got into the home of a collector in Marseille and stole five works. It is not yet known whether the thefts is connected with the Paris robbery earlier in the week, during which the painting above — Pastoral, by Henri Matisse — was taken. But be vigilant with your masterpieces, people.”


Presence through Absence.

When the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, attendance dramatically increased as hordes of people flocked to the Louvre to stare at the space where the Mona Lisa had previously hung. ‘Stealing the Mona Lisa: What Art Stops Us from Seeing’ by Darian Leader is a fascinating read combining psychoanalytical insights of Freud in a “elegant discussion of why we find art so seductive.”

“The book is not really about the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. For Leader, the story of the theft provides a leitmotif for his elegant discussion of why we find art so seductive, but ultimately as so frustrating and perhaps disappointing. Leader begins by asking if “the story of the ‘Mona Lisa’s’ disappearance can tell us something about art and why we look at it”. He is fascinated by the fact that the painting’s absence drew crowds, and asks, “might this give us a clue as to why we look at visual art? Are we looking for something that we have lost?”. For Leader, the point is to understand what art stops us seeing.”
Jerry Brotton

Read more about the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa.