Bungling Thief Steals ‘Fake’ Francesco Guardi Painting

The stolen painting was not by Francesco Guardi Photo: The Globe and Mail

A painting stolen from the University of Toronto, and which was attributed by police to the 18th century Italian master Francesco Guardi (1712-1793) has turned out to be an imitation by an unknown artist, the Globe and Mail reports.

The unsigned and undated painting, titled Church of Santa Maria della Salute and the Dogana, was one of “three valuable paintings” that were stolen from the campus between January 30th and February 10th.

Archivist at Trinity College Sylvia Lassam, confirmed that the painting was not an original Gaurdi, and explained that the mix-up occurred when university officials reported the theft. She told the Globe and Mail, “our records describe it as 18th century, ‘after Guardi,’” an imitation or copy painted in the style of Guardi by an anonymous artist. Evidently, the officers called to the scene misunderstood the correct description of the artwork.

Original works by Francesco Guardi, whose painting style is said to have influenced the impressionist movement, fetch million dollar prices at international auctions.

The two other paintings stolen from the campus, Morning at Peggy’s Grove by William E. deGarthe, and Credit River by the Canadian-Chinese artist Yee Bon are still missing. According to a press release, the university is “cooperating with [the police] investigation.”


For more artnet News art crime coverage, see Spanish Electrician Who Stole Priceless Manuscript and €2.4 Million from Santiago Cathedral Gets 10 Years and New Details Emerge in Russian Avant-Garde Forgery Ring Case.

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