A study ascribed to Rubens stolen in Poitiers

Ascribed to
(or after) Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
The Allegory of Good Government
Oil on panel - 26 x 21 cm
Poitiers, Musée Rupert de Chièvres
(work stolen late November 2007)
Photo : Ch. Vignaud /
Musées de la ville de Poitiers

28/11/2007 — Theft — Poitiers (France), Musée Rupert de Chièvres The Allegory of Good Government, a study ascribed to Rubens, was stolen last sunday from the Musée Rupert de Chièvres in Poitiers. The thief unscrewed the work from the wall in broad daylight.

The panel is in very poor condition, extremely worn and of uncertain attribution. There exists an engraving representing this subject, with the image appearing in the same direction, by Pieter Jode le Jeune. The letter specifies that Rubens is the author of the composition, but there is no painting known to have served as a model, except for this small panel that is most likely not by the master.
It is certainly not a masterpiece and the culprit probably does not know much about painting. But the increase in thefts from churches and museums is becoming an ever more serious problem for our cultural heritage. The publication of the photo of the panel will hopefully be a precious aid in retrieving it.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 28 novembre 2007

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