Criminals take note: If you steal a painting, don't try to sell it later. In 1973, criminals stole the Degas painting Laundry Woman with a Toothache from the Havre Museum in France, where it was on loan from the Louvre. While an investigation was immediately started, authorities were unable to determine who had stolen the painting, and where the painting was located since it was stolen.
Laundry Woman with a Toothache is a small painting, but it is considered quite an important Degas painting. Unlike many of the Degas ballerina paintings, Laundry Woman with a Toothache is painted with a tight focus. Only the heads and faces of the two women are shown. During this time period, Degas was working to capture the look and feel of the working people in France, and often depicted workers seeming tired or ill. Degas painted many images of laundry workers. In Laundry Girls Ironing, for example, one girl bends over her work, while another stretches out her back. It's easy to see why these stretches would be needed, as the ironing looks hard and arduous. In a Laundry shows the workers on a rare break, resting and smoking. They seem exhausted here. Laundry Woman with a Toothache fits nicely into this series, showing women in pain and yet still attempting to go through their day.
Normally, when a painting is stolen, it is reported to the police and then is flagged on stolen art databases around the world. This particular painting by Degas, however, didn't appear on stolen artwork databases. A New York collector, then, was able to list the painting for sale in an auction at Sotheby's in November of last year. The painting was estimated to fetch $350,000 to $450,000 at auction. When French authorities noticed the painting in a pre-sale catalog, however, the painting was pulled from the auction and returned to the Louvre. Since most painting sales require a significant amount of paperwork, detailing where the painting was purchased, and who from, it is possible that the original thieves of the painting can now be caught and brought to justice. Authorities are investigating.
Thieves deprive owners of their rightful property, and deprive museum visitors of the opportunity to see and experience art for themselves. But more than this, stealing a famous oil painting for your own enjoyment is truly unnecessary when you can own a high-quality oil painting reproduction of a famous work of art. Our artists can generate canvas artwork on your specifications that looks and feels just like the original, allowing you to enjoy a masterpiece without resorting to a life of crime. We have hundreds of oil paintings to choose from. Consider a painting by Degas. We have more than 450 available paintings for you to choose from. Or purchase an infamous painting by another artist, such as Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night or Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. We're confident you can find just the right oil painting reproduction in our extensive collection. Start browsing today!