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Paysage bord du Seine

Paysage bord du Seine
English: Landscape on the Banks of the Seine, English: On the Shore of the Seine
Artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Year 1879
Type Oil on linen
Subject Landscape of the Seine
Dimensions Script error: No such module "convert". × Script error: No such module "convert". (5.5 in × 9 in)
Owner Baltimore Museum of Art

Paysage bord du Seine or Paysage bords de Seine[1] (On the Shore of the Seine[2] or Landscape on the Banks of the Seine[1]) is an 1879 oil painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It was stolen in 1951 from the Baltimore Museum of Art and resurfaced in 2012.


Paysage bord du Seine was painted by Renoir in 1879. The painting was purchased by the Paris art gallery Bernheim-Jeune from a "Madame Papillon" (possibly Alphonsine Fournaise Papillon, a figure in the artist's Luncheon of the Boating Party).[1] In 1926, Herbert L. May purchased the painting from Bernheim-Jeune and May's ex-wife, Saidie May, loaned the painting to the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1937.[2] In her will Saidie May bequeathed the painting, along with all her other artworks, to the Baltimore Museum of Art (May died on May 28, 1951).[3]

Theft and rediscovery

Between the evening of November 16, 1951 and just a bit after noon on November 17, Paysage bord du Seine was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art during the "From Ingres to Gauguin" show.[4] The museum sold the title of the painting in an insurance claim of $2,500 to Fireman's Fund Insurance Company that was eventually paid to the museum for the loss.[2][5] In July 2012, Marcia Fuqua brought the painting to The Potomack Company auction house in Alexandria, Virginia, to sell.[2][6] Fuqua claimed that she bought the painting at a flea market in West Virginia for $7 in late 2009, however a family member said the painting had been in the family for "50 or 60 years" (he later changed his account)[6] and other witnesses claimed to have seen the painting in the family's possession decades ago.[7][8] The Potomack Company cancelled the auction scheduled for September 29, 2012, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the painting and opened an investigation into the theft.[6] In November 2013, the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company transferred the title of the painting from the insurance claim back to the Baltimore Museum of Art.[4] On January 10, 2014, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the painting rightfully belongs to the Baltimore Museum of Art.[9] The FBI returned the painting to the museum on January 31, 2014.[10]

Return to Baltimore Museum of Art

Shortly after regaining possession of the painting, the Baltimore Museum of Art put the artwork on display in an exhibition titled "The Renoir Returns" running from March 30 through July 20, 2014.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Shapira, Ian (2012-09-11). "Renoir found at W.Va. flea market likely to fetch $100,000 at auction". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shapira, Ian (2012-09-27). "Flea-market Renoir allegedly was stolen from Baltimore museum; auction canceled". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  3. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole (February 15, 2014). "A First Look at Stolen Renoir Reveals, Retains Some Secrets". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Baltimore Museum of Art asks judge to dismiss woman's claims to Renoir painting
  5. ^ Title to Renoir painting stolen in 1951 awarded to Baltimore Museum of Art
  6. ^ a b c Shapira, Ian (2013-04-04). "'Renoir Girl' unmasked as Loudoun County's Marcia 'Martha' Fuqua". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  7. ^ Shapira, Ian (2013-05-04). "Witnesses say flea-market Renoir was seen in family's home decades ago". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  8. ^ Shapira, Ian (2013-12-05). "'Renoir Girl' may have been trying to sell stolen landscape painting on the sly". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  9. ^ Shapira, Ian (2014-01-10). "'Flea market' Renoir ordered back to Baltimore Museum of Art by federal judge". Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-10. 
  10. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole (January 31, 2014). "After 62 Years, Renoir Landscape Returns Home to BMA". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Upcoming Exhibitions". Baltimore Museum of Art. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 

Further reading