Pablo Picasso Paintings Perpetually Pinched; Has More Stolen Artworks Than Any Other Artist

01/30/2012 3:11 PM |

I used to have hundreds of these! What the fuck?

  • “I used to have hundreds of these! What the fuck?”

Here’s another art factoid from the “I probably could have guessed that” file—which also contains news that Van Gogh was the aughts’ most famous artist; prolific Modern master Pablo Picasso has more stolen artworks to his name than any other artist living or dead (and that’s after the recent recovery of 271 of them, and Mark Lugo‘s stash). Other artists on the “Most Wanted by Art Thieves” list include Dali, Warhol and even Rembrandt, but the second-most stolen artist is a part-time New Yorker of whom you’ve probably never heard.

According to figures released by the Art Loss Register, there are a whopping 1,147 plundered Picassos parading around the black market, The Mirror reports.

That’s more than double the second-most stolen artist, Nick Lawrence, a painter and gallerist who splits his time between Provincetown (where he owns DNA Gallery) and New York (where he owns Chelsea’s Freight + Volume). An amazing 557 works by Lawrence have been stolen.

Other popular targets for art thieves include incredibly prolific Modern artists like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, and the likewise hyper-productive Rembrandt. Of the thousands of art thefts reported to the Art Loss Register, most occurred in the U.K. (roughly 40 percent), and the U.S. was the second-most unsafe country for art, accounting for 16 percent of stolen artworks. So if you’re looking to open an art detective agency, you might consider moving to London—and hiring local expert Pierce Brosnan.


Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt

One Comment

  • Its no wonder Picasso’s works get stolen as the value of his pieces have gone up drastically since 2004 when Boy With Pipe brought in over $100 million shattering the previous record (van Gogh’s Sunflowers). Though it no longer stands as the record holder. The shame of it all of course is the thefts are society’s loss. These works belong to the world.