Works by Picasso and Mondrian recovered in Greece

Works by Picasso and Mondrian recovered in Greece

Works by Picasso and Mondrian recovered in Greece

Greek police have announced the recovery of two important works of art stolen in 2012 from the National Gallery of Athens: Pablo Picasso’s “Head of a woman” (1939) and Piet Mondrian’s “Stammer Windmill” (1905).

Pablo Picasso — Head of a woman — 1939Piet Mondrian — Stammer Windmill

Images: Pablo Picasso “Head of a woman”, 1939. Image © Succession Pablo Picasso Piet Mondrian: “Stammer Windmill”, 1905.

“Head of a woman” is a typical Picasso from the late 1930s, with a clear influence of surrealism. The painting was a gift to Greece from Picasso himself, in gratitude for Greece’s fight against the Nazis during the Second World War.

“Stammer Windmill”, on the other hand, is an early Mondrian (1905), painted well before the abstract works that made Mondrian famous. For its style and subject, it is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s early works in Nuenen in the early and mid 1880s.

The stolen Picassos — As might be expected, despite this find there are still many paintings by Pablo Picasso whose whereabouts are unknown. The most important is possibly “Le pigeon aux petits pois” (1911), a superb Cubist painting stolen in 2010 from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and which is suspected to have been destroyed. Also believed to have been destroyed is “Tête d’Arlequin”, a late (1971) work by the artist, stolen in 2012 from the Kunsthal Rotterdam, along with works by Gauguin and Monet. Fortunately, many of the stolen works have been recovered. In this regard, the most spectacular case is undoubtedly that of the 118 works by Picasso stolen in 1976 in Avignon, and recovered shortly afterwards.

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