The Takeaway Rembrandt

In 1632 Rembrandt painted a portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III, an engraver living in Utrecht. The portrait is quite small, measuring approximately 12 by 10 inches. As a result, it's relatively easy to steal and has earned the nickname "The Takeaway Rembrandt" because of the number of times it's been swiped.

From wikipedia:
The painting has been given the moniker "takeaway Rembrandt" as it has been stolen four times since 1966 – the most recorded of any painting.

Between 14 August 1981 and 3 September 1981 the painting was taken from Dulwich Picture Gallery and retrieved when police arrested four men in a taxi who had the painting with them. A little under two years later a burglar smashed a skylight and descended through it into the art gallery, using a crowbar to remove the painting from the wall. The police arrived within three minutes but were too late to apprehend the thief. The painting was missing for three years, eventually being found on 8 October 1986 in a luggage rack at the train station of a British army garrison in Münster, Germany.

The other two times, the painting was found once underneath a bench in a graveyard in Streatham, and once on the back of a bicycle. Each time the painting has been returned anonymously with more than one person being charged for its disappearance.

St. Cloud Times - Feb 17, 1973

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 22, 2017
     Category: Art | Crime | 1970s

Reminds one of Munch's "The Scream" and its checkered past. I believe it went missing for many years at one point.

Rembrandt was one of the best at getting subjects to appear nearly three dimensional. This one looks as if he could step out of the portrait and start talking to you.
Posted by KDP on 06/22/17 at 12:58 PM
"The Scream" is quite a bit larger, however. It wouldn't fit neatly on the rear rack of a bicycle, so it probably couldn't be classified as portable. In terms of value per sq. inches, I imagine the Mona Lisa would top the list. Swiping that one may be challenging, though.
Posted by Virtual on 06/22/17 at 06:45 PM
Virtual: the main reason it's now quite as famous as it is, is that it was stolen. Before that, it was a Da Vinci painting, so really rather important historically, but not the most popular. (And to be honest, I think his Ferroniere is better.) But the theft - it was in the Louvre, even then - was a scandal, and that made it the most famous painting in the world. Stealing it again would indeed be a more tricky proposition than the first time.
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/29/17 at 02:58 PM
That makes sense to me, Richard. When I got to the Louvre, I naturally made my way to Miss Mona. My first thought was: "That's IT???" The actual interesting thing was that there was an artist who was allowed to set up right next to it and had just finished his copy of it. Even with my eye very close to both paintings (I bet closer than you can get today), I could tell no difference whatsoever.
Posted by Virtual on 06/29/17 at 06:30 PM
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