A 17th-century Dutch artist’s work, Johannes Vermeer’s Love Letter, was stolen fromThe Hague Museum of Paintings. The painting depicts a woman holding an unopened letter created in 1669 and was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $2 million in 2003. No arrest has been made as of this writing, but the police are sure it was an inside job.
The painting depicts a woman writing a letter while sitting next to an open window. She looks out onto a courtyard filled with light while her maidservant sits nearby, working on some needlework. Art experts say that if whoever stole The Hague Museum of Paintings’ painting tries to sell it, they will likely be caught because all Vermeer works are well documented.
Who Is Johannes Vermeers?
Active in Delft and Amsterdam, Johannes Vermeer is often called the epitome of Dutch Golden Age painting. Johannes Vermeer famous artworks include The Milkmaid (1660), View of Delft (1660), and The Astronomer (1668). His images are soft, lyrical, and beautifully composed. As a result, other artists have widely imitated his work for centuries.
In addition to being a painter, Vermeer also worked as an art dealer. He married Catharina Bolnes in 1653, and they had 13 children together before she died in 1672. It’s believed that he died shortly after her death; he was buried on Dec. 15, 1675, at age 43 or 44.
Johannes Vermeer’s paintings are known for their muted colors and soft light, creating an otherworldly beauty. His scenes include still lifes, portraits, genre paintings, and landscapes. A master of Dutch domestic life, his work is full of joyous abundance and a palpable feeling of harmony. The artist was particularly adept at depicting things like clothing and objects that many viewers might recognize in their own homes.
How The Painting Was Stolen?
Johannes Vermeer painted several romantic works, and to many, his most famous work was The Milkmaid (1660). This painting is quite different from his other paintings, and many believe it was not part of his planned output. Instead, he appears to have created The Milkmaid based on a photograph he took in Delft of a woman milking her cow. She worked at De Witte Lelie, one of Delft’s many inns catered to travelers and tourists.
An investigation has been opened into how thieves were able to make off with one of art history’s most beloved letters, Johannes Vermeer’s Love Letter. Dutch Police are currently trying to determine what happened on Sunday evening between 6:00 and 7:00 pm.
The security system was not triggered when a thief or thieves broke in through a window in an adjacent building and made their way over to The Hague Museum of Paintings, where they smashed a glass case protecting Vermeer’s famous work. Unfortunately, there are no leads yet as people remain clueless on who might be responsible for such an audacious theft.
Police were able to review security footage, but it was too dark and grainy to determine how many people may have been involved in the heist. However, they know that at least two people were present when The Hague Museum of Paintings was broken into. The investigation is ongoing. ‘Love Letter’ is one of only 34 known Vermeer paintings to be produced during his career. It is valued at $200 million. It was on loan to The Hague Museum of Paintings, which is where it was stolen from.
Where is it now?
Johannes Vermeer’s Love Letter painting was stolen back in 1995, and while it has resurfaced a few times since, no one has been able to retrieve it. It is currently on display at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. During its absence, several forgeries were also discovered in museums all over Europe. This isn’t surprising, as art experts have only been able to study two-thirds of his known paintings today.
To make matters worse, most of his works are held by private collectors or corporations that don’t wish to share their collections with others. Some experts have suggested that some of these paintings may never be seen again unless they appear on a black market somewhere in Europe. The only known photograph of The Johannes Vermeer’s Love Letter was taken at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum Den Haag before being stolen and put up for auction in 1995.
According to art historians, it was likely created after 1816, when Vermeer’s work started gaining popularity. Only a few sketches of what is thought to be Johannes Vermeer’s Love Letter have been found. Today, even though hundreds of people have seen it, only one person in history has ever held it in their hands: Jeroen Huydecoper, who auctioned it off and received $32 million for his trouble.
What Was The Motivation For Stealing It?
The motivation for stealing an old love letter is hard to figure out. If it were Vermeer himself, that would be a different story. But in any case, it’s now clear that someone stole his love letter from one of Paris’s most well-known art galleries. Police are already investigating who was behind it.
It seems likely that a true art lover had a hand in it. They also apparently knew exactly what they were doing when they broke into the gallery and made off with Vermeer’s priceless work. The theories of why someone stole it vary widely. Some think that it was an art collector who had a run-in with another artist. Others believe it was simply a thief looking to cash in on their crime, as Johannes Vermeer’s artworks are priceless.
This Dutch painting represents an extraordinary letter written by a father to his daughter after serving in World War II. The story behind its disappearance remains unknown, but there are speculations that it was stolen as an act of political protest. The letter was last seen hanging on display at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. It has since been replaced with a replica due to its status as missing art.