Lost and Found Monets


Monet created a series of thirty-seven paintings featuring the Charing Cross Bridge in London. The paintings recorded Monet's observations of the bridge at different times of the day in order to capture the ever-changing atmospheric effects. The Charing Cross Bridge, London, that hung in the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, was stolen during a larger theft in October 2012. A group of thieves were convicted of the crime and claim to have destroyed some of the paintings , including the Monet. One of the thieves said he burned the Monet in his mother's stove. Pigment was detected upon examination of the stove, but not enough to conclusively assert the thief's claim. The painting is still considered missing and the investigation remains active.

Monet's Waterloo Bridge, London, 1901, was also part of the RotterdamKunsthalart theft and is also presumed to have been destroyed or still missing along with the Charing Cross Bridge, London, mentioned above.

Claude Monet's painting Effet de brouillard, painted in 1872, fell off the map in 1892, but it was successfully traced and brought back into public view by Richard Thomson, a professor of fine art at the University of Edinburgh. Thomson was curator of the exhibition entitled Monet & Architectureat the National Gallery and, having seen the painting reproduced in various catalogues of Monet's art, wanted to include it in the exhibition. Thomson was able to locate the painting through online auction records and learned that the painting had passed through several private owners since its participation in Thomson's exhibition.

Claude Monet Water Lilies: Reflection of Willows (1916)

Perhaps sensing the impending upheaval that would be caused by World War II, the Japanese art collector Kojiro Matsukata decided to send the work, Water Lilies: Reflection of Willows, among others, to Paris in an effort to preserve them. When the war was over, however, the paintings were nowhere to be found until 2016 when a French researcher discovered Water Lilies: Reflection of Willowsin storage at the Louvre. The painting, thought to have been purchased by Matsukata from Monet himself, was in a state of horrendous disrepair and went under extensive restoration efforts. Matsukata, who died in 1950, had acquired an enormous collection of art that also fared very badly despite being sent abroad for safekeeping. He also was forced to sell much of his collection when his business suffered losses in the late 1920s. His dream of opening a modern art museum in Tokyo was not to be, but there are hopes to display this lost Monet in the near future.

Poppies near Argenteuil from 1879, by Claude Monet was one of four paintings stolen in broad daylight from the E. G. Buehrle Collection in Zurich in 2008. All the paintings, including the Monet, were recovered.

Claude Monet's Impression Sunrise from 1872 was stolen from the Mus�e Marmottan in 1985 but was recovered and returned to the Museum in 1990. It was put back on display in 1991.


A Pepperdine University student stole an unspecified Monet painting worth two million dollars from a Hollywood home in 1993. The painting reportedly depicts a Belgian canal scene and was recovered shortly thereafter when the thief attempted to sell it.