Brazilian art collector claims he has (but misplaced) a Van Gogh painting and is attempting to remove it from the Detroit Institute of Arts

Date:

Brazilian art collector claims he has a Van Gogh painting

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Thursday, January 12, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • According to Gustavo Soter, whose business Brokerarte Capital Partners paid $3.7 million in 2017 for the oil painting Une Liseuse De Romans, popularly known as The Novel Reader or The Reading Lady, created by Vincent van Gogh in 1888.

  • The Artnet Price Database states that Une Liseuse De Romans has been auctioned three times.

  • The most recent sale was for $3.1 million at Christie’s New York in 2010.

  • The painting is identified as being from a “private collection, So Paulo”, in the wall text at the DIA.

  • But once the concert is over, the court will probably decide whether it will be returned to the lender as scheduled.

A Brazilian collector is attempting to seize a painting on loan to the wildly popular “Van Gogh in America” exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts before the show closes later this month.

According to Gustavo Soter, whose business Brokerarte Capital Partners paid $3.7 million in 2017 for the oil painting Une Liseuse De Romans, popularly known as The Novel Reader or The Reading Lady, created by Vincent van Gogh in 1888. He purchased the picture from Torrealba Holdings, Ltd., a business owned by Brazilian thoroughbred breeding investor Goncalo Borges Torrealba, which he now estimates to be worth over $5 million.

Things become hazy at that point.

The complaint stated that “[Soter] promptly transferred possession—but not title—to a third party.” Plaintiff has been uninformed of the painting’s whereabouts for years because this party fled with it.

Vincent van Gogh, <em>Une liseuse De Romans</em> (1888) on display in "Van Gogh in America" at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo courtesy of court filing.

A presentation of Vincent van Gogh’s Une Liseuse De Romans (1888) can be found at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ “Van Gogh in America” exhibition. Image from a court file.

As it turns out, the painting has been on display at the DIA since October 2 as part of an exhibition honouring the institution’s 100th anniversary of purchasing the first Van Gogh to enter a U.S. museum’s collection.

To ensure that Une Liseuse De Romans be recovered before the show’s January 22 conclusion, the lawsuit demands that Une Liseuse De Romans be returned to Soter.

In the complaint, it was stated that “immediate action is urgently required.” “The painting will be removed from the DIA’s ownership after the show is over, making it inaccessible to Plaintiff. Plaintiff will forfeit its chance to reclaim the Painting, which it has been looking for for years, if the DIA moves the Painting or cedes possession to a third party.

Courthouse News and Detroit News were the first to break the news of the case, which was accompanied by a copy of the bill of sale for the job.

“The DIA was informed this evening of a complaint regarding a piece of art currently on loan to the DIA. The DIA has not yet received the complaint, so it cannot comment, according to a statement from a museum spokeswoman.

The Artnet Price Database states that Une Liseuse De Romans has been auctioned three times. The most recent sale was for $3.1 million at Christie’s New York in 2010. Before that, it brought in £3.36 million ($5.5 million) in 2003 and £2.36 million ($4.3 million), both at Christie’s London.

The painting is identified as being from a “private collection, So Paulo”, in the wall text at the DIA. But once the concert is over, the court will probably decide whether it will be returned to the lender as scheduled. To do this, Soter’s legal counsel has also asked for a temporary restraining order.

According to Soter’s attorneys, “there is good reason for this court to issue an order directing the DIA to retain possession of the painting awaiting further order of the court” because of the painting’s value, uniqueness, and propensity to vanish.

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