The Curious Tale of Brown University's Philip IV

June 9 2020

Image of The Curious Tale of Brown University's Philip IV

Picture: MFA

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a curious post on the blog site Lost Art Project detailing the history of a portrait of King Philip IV of Spain by the Circle of John Singer Sargent (pictured).

The painting was the property of Brown University since 1957 but went missing at some point between the years 1983 and 1991. It then appeared in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston after being donated by a former Brown professor. The professor claimed that his mother had purchased the work at a yard sale in south-eastern Massachusetts. What are the chances?

The MFA website explains that the painting was deaccessioned in 2016 and has since been returned to Brown. The painting has been cleaned too by the looks of it.

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