Category Archives: Lost Works

January 15th, 1979

On this day in art history, Timmy McDougal’s painting The Two-Faced Smoker was stolen from the Vancouver Institute of Art.  Three weeks later, a ransom note would be mailed to the Canadian government, demanding a million Canadian dollars be paid for the return of the painting.  Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau responded with a televised speech in which he announced, “The check is in the mail.”  However, the painting was never returned.  When asked to speculate as to why, Trudeau shrugged and said, “We sent the money.  Perhaps the envelope was misplaced.”

The Two-Faced Smoker remains a lost piece of art.

The Two-Faced Smoker by Timmy McDougal



Filed under Lost Works, painting

January 11th, 314 A.D.

On this day in art history, His Holiness Pope Militades died in Rome, bringing his 3-year papacy to an end.  To honor his passing, St. Sylvian of Bystidia began work on his famous sculpture Militades On The Heretics.  Taking 9 years to complete, the sculpture was considered to be one of the top 50 wonders of the Western Roman Empire.  It was subsequently destroyed by the Vandals during the second sack of Rome in 455 A.D.

Karl Briulov's Sacco Di Roma 455 (1833 -- 1836)

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Filed under Lost Works, Religious Art, Sculptors