Mystery Writer Lynne Kennedy Searches for Missing Van Gogh
Mystery writer Lynne Kennedy is on the hunt for a painting by Vincent van Gogh, which vanished during the Nazi occupation of France in World War II.
While researching her latest novel, Kennedy learned that the oil on canvas, called Still Life: Vase with Oleanders, disappeared in 1944. Inspired by this extraordinary story, Kennedy penned Deadly Provenance, and created a fictional solution to the missing artwork. In reality, the painting remains lost.
With the recent release of her book, Kennedy hopes to re-energize the search for the missing Van Gogh. Through the Internet's global community, she is enlisting the help of the public worldwide to track down its fate. Anyone interested in following her progress or has knowledge of the lost painting can contact her at The Hunt.
What facts are known? Before the war, the painting was on display in the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris, owned by a French Jewish family. In 1940, the family suspected that they were going to be targeted by the Nazis. They packed up 30 or so of the paintings from their gallery, including Vase with Oleanders, and gave them to family friends at the Château de Rastignac, a country house near Bordeaux.
In1941, their gallery was, indeed, plundered and their paintings and building were confiscated. On March 30, 1944, Nazis raided the Château, looting as much as they could before burning the building to the ground. It is unknown whether the Bernheim-Jeune's paintings were destroyed or stolen, but they have not been seen since.
Witnesses to the event declared that the Germans carried packages of every size and shape out of the Château and loaded them onto Nazi trucks. Was the Van Gogh canvas rolled up and secreted away?