Lost and Found

A bronze sculpture depicting the Matisse’s daughter Marguerite (1906) was reported missing in the 1990s by a Swiss museum. It was listed on the Art Loss Register by the museum. It was recovered in 2017 when a French auction house identified the newly consigned piece. The consignor had acquired the sculpture at an antique bric-a-brac store located in the same city as the museum. The sculpture was returned to the museum.

Le Jardin (1920), which had been stolen from the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm in 1987, was recovered in Essex in 2013. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to sell the art for ransom.

It eventually entered the possession of a Polish collector who approached art dealer Charles Roberts of Charles Fine Art, who then notified authorities of the painting’s whereabouts. Le Jardin was returned to the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm and was displayed in the collection in 2013.

In 2012, German tax authorities raided an apartment in the Schwabing district, Munich. They discovered over 1300 unregistered and lost art works. These works were confiscated under the Nazi regime under the label of ‘Degenerate Art’ and collected for resale by Hildebrand Gurlitt, He was an art dealer for the Third Reich. Among these is Seated Woman (1921) by Matisse. It originally belonged Paul Rosenberg, a Jewish collector who had to abandon his collection when fleeing Paris in 1940. The artwork was returned to the Rosenberg family in 2015.

In 2012, Odalisque a la culotte rouge (1925) was seized by undercover FBI agents when a couple attempted to resell the piece. It was stolen from Caraças Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003. The original was replaced with a forgery at the museum. The painting has since been returned to the museum in Venezuela.

In 2008, two silkscreen cutouts by Matisse entitled White Palm on Red (1947) and Green Snail on Blue were put on sale at Sotheby’s New York.. The Heirs of Matisse halted the auction, claiming the pieces were stolen from the warehouse where Pierre Matisse had stored a number of his father’s works in 1972 and rightfully belonged to the Matisse family.