Serbia officials have announced the recovery of what they believe to be a missing masterpiece by Impressionist Paul Cezanne
If this is the case, the artwork would worth at least $109 million. The work in question went missing four years in the one of the world’s most famous art heists. As an added bonus, Serbian police say they have detained three suspects in connection to the armed robbery.
Serbian police said: ‘We believe the painting is Cezanne’s Boy in a Red Waistcoat and three suspects were detained in connection with that’; ‘Experts in Serbia and abroad are trying to ascertain whether the painting is an original. This painting is worth tens of millions of euros’.
The ‘Boy in a Red Waistcoat’ was taken in 2008 from a Swiss art gallery just before closing time. Three armed robbers gained entrance and forced staff onto the floor at gunpoint while they gathered the intended loot.
At the time of the robbery the ‘Boy in a Red Waistcoat’ was worth $110, with the total hoard being worth an estimated $163 million. This made the heist the biggest in the history of Switzerland, and ranked among the most substantial of all time.
Other stolen works included a painting by Claude Monet and another by Vincent Van Gogh. But these were quickly recovered – in a matter of days – in a stolen car. The Cezanne painting, along with a work by Edgar Degas, were still missing… until now; perhaps.
Paul Cezanne (January 19, 1839 – October 22, 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cezanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cezanne ‘is the father of us all’ cannot be easily dismissed.
Cezanne’s work demonstrates a mastery of design, colour, composition and draftsmanship. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognisable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields, at once both a direct expression of the sensations of the observing eye and an abstraction from observed nature. The paintings convey Cezanne’s intense study of his subjects, a searching gaze and a dogged struggle to deal with the complexity of human visual perception.
Follow ArtLyst on Twitter for breaking art news and latest exhibition reviews