Article Written by : Square Room Records
FBI agents have reportedly found a $3 million Matisse painting that had been taken almost 10 years ago, according to ABCNews.com. The painting was stolen from a Venezuelan museum and switched with a fake one. Undercover as art collectors, FBI agents recovered the painting at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach.
The original painting was featured at the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas since 1981. In 1977, it was loaned to a Spanish exhibition. However, in 2002, a rumor that the painting was for sale circulated between Miami art collector Genaro Ambrosino and the museum’s art director, Rita Salvestrini. This information led to the understanding that the painting hanging in the museum was a fake.
While the counterfeit painting is impressive, the difference between the real painting and the fake one is the shadow on the woman’s left arm. The counterfeit shadow merges the background with the body, something Matisse did not do in this period, according to Todd Cronan, a teacher of art history at Emory University in Atlanta.
ABCNews.com said that the newspaper El Mundo suggested that the painting was most likely swapped during the Spanish exhibition loan in 1977. However, the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum could not provide additional information about the case.