Art has long been one of the most valuable commodities in the world and museums and galleries have consequently been targeted by art thieves scheming to pull off lucrative heists. Just recently, on Monday 26 November 2018, a lesser-known Renoir landscape Bay, Sea, Green Cliffs, valued at US$180,000 (£141,700), was stolen from a Vienna auction house a few days before its sale, and it still remains missing. Although many works have been recovered from these robberies, a large number of very well-known and expensive paintings have not yet been found. Here are ten of the most famous paintings that are still at large.

1. The Concert, Johannes Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Concert’, 1664, oil on canvas Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Concert’, 1664, oil on canvas

Having disappeared in the biggest art heist ever, Johannes Vermeer's The Concert is considered the most valuable stolen painting in the world, estimated at over £150 million. It was pilfered, along with 12 other masterpieces, from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 by three men disguised as Boston police, allegedly working as part of an East Coast crime ring, and none of the works have since been found (their estimated value is said to total £394 million). The painting dates to 1664 and depicts Vermeer's classic subject of a peaceful domestic scene executed with his masterful handling of light and detail. Inside a sunlit room, a man and woman play a lute and harpsichord while another woman sings.

2. The Storm of the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt van Rijn, ‘The Storm of the Sea of Galilee’, 1633, oil on canvas Rembrandt van Rijn, ‘The Storm of the Sea of Galilee’, 1633, oil on canvas

Also stolen during the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist, The Storm of the Sea of Galilee is Rembrandt's only known painting of the sea created in the mid-17th century. The painting portrays Jesus calming the raging storm while crossing the Sea of Galilee with his disciples, as written in the Gospels. The Dutch Golden Age master rendered this work with his characteristic elements of the Baroque style, heightening the dramatic scene with chiaroscuro (half of the painting shines as the waves mount in the moonlight, the other half is plunged in serene darkness) to emphasise the fury of the storm, the apostles' panic and the significance of Jesus's miracle.

3. Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois, Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, ‘Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois’, 1911, oil on canvas Pablo Picasso, ‘Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois’, 1911, oil on canvas

One of Pablo Picasso's analytic cubist works, Le Pigeon Aux Petit Pois, was stolen from a Paris museum in 2010 along with four other paintings that together are estimated at over £94.3 million. The work is characteristic of the analytic cubism movement, which Picasso co-founded with Georges Braque, which incorporated painterly geometric shapes and a neutral colour palette. Although the thief was apprehended, he claims that the painting was destroyed.

4. Poppy Flowers, Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, ‘Poppy Flowers’, 1887, oil on canvas Vincent Van Gogh, ‘Poppy Flowers’, 1887, oil on canvas

Poppy Flowers by Vincent Van Gogh was cut from its frame at Mohamed Mohmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, Egypt in 2010, and has yet to be recovered. Estimated at £39.3 million, the work was painted in 1887, three years before Van Gogh's suicide. The subject and colour palette of Poppy Flowers was said to have been inspired by the works of French painter Adolphe Monticelli, who used vibrant shades and dark backgrounds to create dramatic, romantic scenes. Van Gogh even said of Monticelli, who died in 1886, "I sometimes think I am really continuing that man".

5. Nativity of St. Francis and St. Lawrence, Caravaggio

Caravaggio, ‘Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence’, 1600, oil on canvas Caravaggio, ‘Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence’, 1600, oil on canvas

Caravaggio, the Baroque master renowned for his dramatic chiaroscuro and realistic scenes, was commissioned to paint this nativity scene in 1600 including St Francis of Assisi and St Lawrence, a Roman deacon and martyr. For over 350 years the oil painting hung above the altar at the Oratory of St. Lawrence, a Baroque church in Palermo, Sicily. The church was robbed in 1969 allegedly by the Sicilian mafia, who took the Caravaggio work as well as other valuable pieces.

6. Portrait of a Young Man, Raphael

Raphael, ‘Portrait of a Young Man’, 1514, oil panel Raphael, ‘Portrait of a Young Man’, 1514, oil panel

The great Raphael was one of the three most esteemed painters of the Renaissance (along with da Vinci and Michelangelo) and was known for his grand and calming portrayals of religious scenes featured in the Vatican. His work, Portrait of a Young Man is supposedly a self-portrait and was painted around 1513-14. The painting depicts Raphael's classic techniques of proportion, subdued color, decorative details and idealised form. The painting was acquired by a Polish prince in 1798 and brought to his family museum in Krakow. In 1939, when the Nazis began to invade Poland, a descendent of the prince took the painting from the museum to hide it, but it was eventually discovered by the Gestapo and became part of Nazi leader Hans Frank's collection. When Frank was arrested in 1945 for war crimes, the painting couldn't be found among his confiscated property. It is believed to be worth over £78.6 million.

7. Just Judges of the Ghent Altarpiece, Jan and Hubert Van Eyk

Jan and Hubert Van Eyk, 'Just Judges', 'Ghent Altarpiece', 1432, oil and tempera on wood panel Jan and Hubert Van Eyk, 'Just Judges', 'Ghent Altarpiece', 1432, oil and tempera on wood panel

Considered one of the most important altarpieces in the world, The Ghent Altarpiece was commissioned for the city's Saint Bavo Cathedral by the mayor in the early 15th century. Jan Van Eyk, a renowned Flemish painter and leader of the Northern Renaissance who painted at The Hague, was chosen to design the altarpiece along with his brother and fellow artist Hubert Van Eyk.

Jan and Hubert Van Eyk, 'The Ghent Altarpiece' 1432, oil and tempera on wood panel Jan and Hubert Van Eyk, 'The Ghent Altarpiece' 1432, oil and tempera on wood panel

The altarpiece is made up of twelve panels. Tn the top six panels it depicts Jesus Christ in the centre, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and Adam and Eve, and the adoration of the lamb, surrounded by apostles, prophets, saints and soldiers in the bottom six panels. Just Judges, one of the lower left panels showing a group of approaching judges to the worship, was removed from the altarpiece in 1934. The thief left a note ‘Taken from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles’, because the altarpiece had been confiscated and taken to Berlin during World War I, but was returned to Ghent under the treaty's terms in 1920. The Belgian government received ransom notes that they refused, and despite much speculation on the thief's identity and where it is, the panel is still missing.

8. View of Auvers-sur-Oise, Paul Cezanne

Paul Cézanne, ‘View of Auvers-sur-Oise’, 1879-1882, oil on canvas Paul Cézanne, ‘View of Auvers-sur-Oise’, 1879-1882, oil on canvas

At midnight on 1 January 2000, as fireworks exploded over Oxford, England signalling the new millennium, a Mission Impossible-style art heist occurred at Oxford University's art museum. The thief shattered the museum's skylight and rappelled into the museum to steal an important Paul Cézanne landscape and set off a smoke machine to block out the security cameras. View of Auvers-sur-Oise was painted by Cézanne between 1879-1882 in the early stages of his career and is a landscape of the countryside outside of Paris. The work serves as a bridge between his earlier works and his transformation into the richly hued Post Impressionist style for which he is famous. It was donated to the Oxford University museum by a German refugee couple who had escaped to Oxford during World War II and is said to be worth about £3.93 million.

9. Charing Cross Bridge, Claude Monet

Claude Monet, ‘Charing Cross Bridge’, 1901, oil on canvas Claude Monet, ‘Charing Cross Bridge’, 1901, oil on canvas

Characteristic of Monet's dreamy Impressionist style that focuses on the interplay of light and colour, the Charing Cross Bridge series was painted between 1899-1905 in London. Using a pale grey, blue and green colour palette, punctuated by the delineated bridge, Monet captures the smoky pollution of London and fuses the sky and water. This work was hanging in the Kunsthal Museum in the Netherlands when it was stolen in 2012 along with another Monet painting and five works by famous artists including Matisse, Gauguin and Picasso. The perpetrators were arrested, but the paintings never found. One of the thieves' mothers claimed she had burned the works to absolve her son of involvement, but later denied the statement, though authorities found remnants of paint in her fireplace. All of the seven works were estimated at a total of £235.8 million.

10. Portrait of a Lady, Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt, ‘Portrait of a Lady’, 1916-17, oil on canvas Gustav Klimt, ‘Portrait of a Lady’, 1916-17, oil on canvas

Austrian artist Gustav Klimt is best known for his Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which was stolen by the Nazis in 1941 and subsequently returned to the rightful owners in 2006 who sold it for £106 million (a record at the time) to billionaire Ronald Lauder. However, a lesser-known work of his which is still missing is Portrait of A Lady, painted towards the end of his life in 1916-17 which represents an unknown female figure. The depiction of this woman was painted over the original work, which is believed to have been a painting of Klimt's lover who died tragically. It was held at the Galleria Ricci-Oddi in Piacenea, Italy when it was stolen in 1997 while the gallery was being renovated. Although counterfeit copies of the painting have circulated, the real work is still at large.

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