'Stuart Little', art sleuth

November 28 2014

Image of 'Stuart Little', art sleuth

Picture: Guardian

Nice story in The Guardian about a picture discovery via the film 'Stuart Little':

A long-lost avant garde painting has returned home to Hungary after nine decades thanks to a sharp-eyed art historian who spotted it being used as a prop in the Hollywood film Stuart Little.

In 2009, Gergely Barki, a researcher at Hungary’s national gallery, noticed Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny in the 1999 children’s movie about a mouse as he watched TV with his daughter Lola.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Bereny’s long-lost masterpiece on the wall behind Hugh Laurie. I nearly dropped Lola from my lap,” Barki, 43, said.

“A researcher can never take his eyes off the job, even when watching Christmas movies at home.” The painting disappeared in the 1920s, but Barki recognised it immediately even though he had only seen a faded black-and-white photo dating from a 1928 exhibition.

He sent a flurry of emails to staff at the film’s makers, Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures, and received a reply from a former set designer – two years later.

“She said the picture was hanging on her wall,” Barki said.

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