Artist Giovanni DeCunto, an acclaimed global expressionist who has commissioned pieces for notable figures including President George H. W. Bush and David Ortiz, has created a new collection of interpretations of all 13 of the works stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the world’s largest unsolved art heist.
“I learned how to paint from those paintings,” Giovanni said. “Before I went to college, I used to go into the museums and copy all the paintings. Their techniques are the basis of my style. I wanted to give these incredible, inspiring works new life.”
The originals – reportedly worth as much as $1 billion collectively – include century-old works by Rembrandt, Degas, Manet and Vermeer. Among them is Vermeers’ 1664 painting “The Concert,” which is one of only 34 known works by the Dutch painter; a rare Rembrandt self-portrait from 1634; Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” which is the Dutch master’s only known seascape; French modernist Manet’s “Chez Tortoni” (1878); five sketches by Degas; and an ancient Chinese gu from the Shang dynasty in the 1200s.
The works were all purchased in the late 1800s and early 1900s by Gardner, a prominent philanthropist and art collector, and were stolen during an infamous heist in which two men posing as police officers broke in, tied up security guards and stole the art. There have been a variety of leads over the years, but none of the pieces have been recovered. The museum has offered a $10 million reward.
Giovanni’s “13” exhibit will be unveiled at a private event on February 26th, then will be available for public showing March 1-17 at the Giovanni DeCunto Gallery at 116 South Street, Boston 02111. For more, please visit www.theStolen13.com.
Giovanni grew up in Lawrence and graduated from Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Art. His art can be found at United Nations Headquarters in NYC and EUNO Royal Museum in Japan, where his pieces were displayed with works by Jackson Pollack and Robert Maplethorpe. His works have also been displayed at Reebok World Headquarters, Children’s Hospital Boston, Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.