'This Is a Robbery' on Netflix: All the Artworks Stolen in the Gardner Museum Theft

This Is a Robbery is the latest true crime documentary streaming on Netflix. Rather than focusing on serial killers or unsolved mysteries, the film is about one of the biggest art robberies of all time.

In March 1990, two men dressed as police officers gained entry to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They tied up the guards and stole an estimated $500 million of art, including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Degas. To this day, none of the artworks has been recovered. The picture frames hang empty in the gallery as a reminder of the crime, according to Last Seen, a WBUR podcast.

All the Artworks Stolen in the Gardner Museum Robbery

A Lady and Gentleman in Black by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633

this is a robbery netflix
'A Lady and Gentleman in Black' by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633 Getty

Although its attribution was once disputed, this is now believed to be Rembrandt's first double portrait, a 4-foot-high canvas painted when the artist was in his late twenties.

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633

Of the works stolen from the museum in 1990, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee is probably the one that has made the most appearances in popular culture. Shows as diverse as The Blacklist, Iron Fist and The Venture Bros have featured plots about its theft or purchase.

Even bigger than A Lady and Gentleman in Black, it depicts a New Testament story in dramatic fashion.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Rembrandt van Rijn, about 1633

One of Rembrandt's beloved self-portraits, this etching was one of the smallest works stolen at around 2 inches square.

The Concert by Johannes Vermeer, 1663-66

this a robbery artworks
'The Concert' by Johannes Vermeer, 1663-66. Getty

Per the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Concert may be the most valuable stolen object in the world, valued at $250 million. Gardner bought it in a Paris auction for $5,000 in 1892. In a spooky incident of foreshadowing, an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour broadcast in 1964 was about the theft of the work. It is one of only 34 known paintings by Vermeer.

Three Mounted Jockeys by Edgar Degas, about 1885-88

One of five Degas works on paper stolen from cabinets in the museum's Short Gallery. It is one of the artist's many sketches of horses and their riders.

Procession on a Road Near Florence by Edgar Degas, 1857-60

A larger drawing from the museum collection (measuring 6 by 8 inches, making it postcard-sized), this shows Degas working in an unusual historical mode.

Studies for the Programme by Edgar Degas, 1884

These two designs for a program to accompany an "artistic soirée" reveal a more frivolous side of the artist, trying out images to reflect an evening of music and dance in June 1884. He made many versions of the study: one is at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Leaving the Paddock by Edgar Degas, 19th century

"Perhaps the most important of the stolen Degas," according to the website of the Last Seen podcast. This work in watercolor and pencil on paper also features a jockey and horse—and the pencil reveals Degas' method as he moves figures around in the composition.

Chez Tortoni by Edouard Manet, about 1875

Chez Tortoni by Edouard Manet
'Chez Tortoni' by Edouard Manet. Getty

A small oil painting that used to hang in the museum's Blue Room, it features a young man writing with a glass of wine in the eponymous restaurant. It made a brief appearance in a 2011 episode of The Vampire Diaries.

Eagle Finial by Pierre-Philippe Thomire, 1813-14

The bronze finial decorated a military flagpole that used to be in Gardner's home before it was moved to the museum. It was a rare example of the thieves being foiled: they tried and failed to steal the entire Napoleonic regimental flag.

Landscape with an Obelisk by Govaert Flinck, 1638

This painting was carried off alongside the Vermeer it was framed with. Once thought to be by Rembrandt, the landscape has since been ascribed to one of his students.

Gu, 12th century BCE

This Chinese bronze beaker, or gu, was one of the oldest items in the Gardner collection. It was in the Dutch Room close to the Vermeer and Rembrandts—and stolen with them.

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