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Monthly Archives: January 2014

It is a well-known fact that Frans Van Mieris studied painting under Gerrit Dou. This teacher of Van Mieris was considered the best of the fine painters (known as thefijnschilders) during the Dutch Golden Age.  Dou himself reportedly thought highly of his pupil calling Van Mieris the “Prince of my pupils.”  What would either of these great late artists make of the goings on in the art world today, especially the thefts and forgeries that continue to take place? With Frans Van Mieris’s painting, A Cavalier, still missing, it’s a case of going from Dou to D’oh!  When one considers the Oxford Dictionary definition of “D’oh” (seriously, it’s in there – D’oh!), Homer Simpson’s famous utterance is certainly apt:

D’oh: used to comment on a foolish or stupid action, especially one’s own:

I keep crashing cars. Doh! What a dummy! (Oxford Dictionary).

For the purposes of this post I prefer to use this example:

Some selfish idiot has stolen A Cavalier. D’oh!

 Actually, I am going to imagine that I can read the mind of the despicable thief who stole the painting:

“I [insert the expletive of your choice] stole a masterpiece. D’oh! I am such a [insert another expletive of your choice].”

As a new year commences perhaps foolish and stupid actions, such as the theft of A Cavalier, will receive more police (and public) attention with the recent formation of Australia’s first expert advisory committee on art crime. Announced only last month (December 2013), this advisory committee, under the auspice of the NSW Police Force, acknowledges the long-standing predicament of Australia’s lack of police expertise in this area of crime. It also signals a new era in the policing of art crime. Here’s hoping the stolen Cavalier will benefit from this new and promising endeavour and finally be found  – now that would indeed be a wonderful new year’s resolution… to a mysterious art crime!  —V.O.

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