Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gauguin and Bonnard Hang in Autoworker’s Kitchen for Forty Years

The Italian Ministry of Culture announced that two paintings, Paul Gauguin’s “Fruits sur une table ou nature morte au petit chien,” and Pierre Bonnard’s “La femme aux deux fauteuils,” which were stolen in 1970 have been recovered. The paintings were taken in a robbery from the London home of Terence Kennedy, the widower of a daughter of a founder of the Marks and Spencer department stores. Neither Mr. Kennedy nor his second wife had children and at present there are no known heirs.

The paintings appear to have been left in a compartment of a Paris-Turin train soon after the theft. They were auctioned by the Italian Railways’ lost and found department in 1975. Both were purchased by a Fiat worker for 45,000 lire, then about $30. An art lover, he appreciated their quality but did not know what they were. He hung them in his kitchen for 40 years, then brought them to Sicily on his retirement. A relative recently noticed similarities to other published works by the artists and the police were notified.

Share this post:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter