• Sweden edition
Stolen Swedish painting up for auction in London

Stolen Swedish painting up for auction in London

Published: 26 Nov 2010 08:42 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Nov 2010 08:42 GMT+01:00

The painting, "Freja", was stolen in a burglary of a family in the Stockholm area in 2004.

Six years later it has emerged at an auction organised by Sotheby's in London. But when Swedish police caught wind of the sale, they put a stop to the auction, the Dagens Industri (DI) newspaper reports.

"I can confirm that the painting was withdrawn because of ambiguities regarding the ownership," said Matthew Floris, spokesman for Sotheby's, to DI.

According to the catalog, the painting was submitted to the auction by a private collector in Switzerland. Swedish police have said they will now question the man about the painting.

“In my estimation, one could suspect him of selling stolen goods, but the investigation hasn’t proceeded so far that he is formally a suspect,” said Lars Stervander of the Stockholm county police told the newspaper.

The painting technically belongs to the insurance company who paid compensation to the former owner in Sweden.

According to DI was the painting was insured for 3 million kronor ($428,000).

The Swedish artist Anders Zorn painted the work in 1901 and it depicts the naked goddess of love, Freja.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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09:30 November 26, 2010 by Prat
ArtDaily.org notes Zorn's Freya is "an intimate, private depiction of the female form..." "Painted in 1901, Freya is one of the few works Zorn based on a mythological subject (lot 123). Estimated at £150,000-250,000, it depicts the Norse goddess of love, Freya, in the nude, enthroned in her hall, Sessrúmnir, in Fólkvangr, holding a chalice. A black cat accompanies the goddess, in recognition of the detail outlined in the saga. In Freya, Zorn flagrantly challenges the received traditions of nude painting. Academic painting defused the naked female form by idealising it and situating it in mythology or ancient history. Zorn subverts this convention by portraying a mythical figure as a recognisably real woman, just as Edouard Manet had done in Olympia, in which he re-interpreted Titian's nude Venus of Urbino as a modern day naked courtesan. The cat in the present work is a clear nod to Manet. Dedicated 'To my friend Roosevelt', Freya was painted in the New York City studio of Samuel Roosevelt, cousin of President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt, whose portrait Zorn went on to draw in 1905. Zorn made seven journeys to the United States, where his sitters also included Presidents Cleveland and Taft."

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09:45 November 26, 2010 by VicTaulic
She's hot.
11:50 November 26, 2010 by marianne667
Thanks Prat for the intersting art history lesson. More enjoyable than our usual comments.
19:32 November 26, 2010 by OnessOfMankind
as simple as where you got it from prove its yours call main country catch the dumb theif
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