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OMG! 136 year old Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum during Covid-19 lockdown

OMG! 136 year old Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum during Covid-19 lockdown

Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, whose 167th birth anniversary was commemorated yesterday by the Van Gogh Museum and other art enthusiasts around the world, painted several landscapes containing flowers (mostly roses, lilacs, irises, sunflowers), Cypress tress, flowering orchards and gardens. Some of Van Gogh’s work reflect his interests in the usage of colour, and Ukiyo-e, a phrase used to describe a school of Japanese art depicting subjects from everyday life, dominant in the 17th–19th centuries. The painter created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of which in the last two years of his life. These include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, characterised by bold colours and expressive brush strokes. The style contributed to the foundations of modern art in a large way.

Van Gogh believed that the effect of colour went beyond the descriptive. “Colour expresses something in itself,” he said. The colour yellow meant the most to him, symbolising emotional truth. The artist is known to have used yellow as a symbol for sunlight, life, and God in his work. The painting called Lentetuin, or Spring Garden, an 1884 painting showing the spring garden of the rectory at Neunen was stolen from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands overnight, the museum said yesterday. The museum has been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The painting had been on loan from the Groninger Museum.

The 25-by-57-centimeter (10-by-22-inch) oil on paper painting shows a person standing in a garden surrounded by trees with a church tower in the background. The Singer Laren museum east of Amsterdam said The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884 by the Dutch master was taken in the early hours of Monday. By early afternoon, all that could be seen from the outside of the museum was a large white panel covering a smashed door in the building’s glass facade.

Museum General Director Evert van Os said the institution that houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer is “angry, shocked, sad” at the theft. Van Gogh’s paintings, when they rarely come up for sale, fetch millions at auction. Police are investigating the theft. “I’m shocked and unbelievably annoyed that this has happened,” said Singer Laren museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm.

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