Rembrandt van Rijn’s “Self Portrait” hanging in a Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty property at the Four Seasons Private Residences One Dalton Street.
Boston’s “Lost 13” works of art are masterfully re-created and used to grace high-end properties on the market by Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.
It was one of the art community’s darkest days. Sometime early in the morning on March 18, 1990, two thieves dressed as policemen strolled into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and walked out with 13 pieces of art from masters like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Manet and Degas. The haul was valued at $500 million—and is still the world’s largest unsolved art heist.
Fast-forward to a recent dinner that native Boston artist Giovanni DeCunto (giovannidecunto.com) had with a friend. “I had just finished a tribute painting of my friend’s deceased mother. When leaving the dinner, the idea came to me,” says DeCunto, who researched the stolen paintings to develop them into a collection. “The pieces seemed arbitrary—some being sketches and others full- blown paintings. [I wanted] to form a collectionaround them and find commonality. To form a unified collection, I needed to adapt to each individual piece; only then am I able to uncover the common thread linking them all together.”
A great room at One Dalton showcases two pieces from the “Lost 13”.
DeCunto’s re-creations are masterpieces themselves, and Michael Carucci, executive vice president of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty (gibsonsothebysrealty.com), had an idea: Why not hang these pieces in the gorgeous, high-end properties his firm listed? As Carucci explains, it would be the fusion of fine art and luxury real estate. “The concept is simple and effective,” he says. “You place the art in an environment where qualified people can both admire the works and afford the works. Having these magnificent pieces of art hanging on the walls also adds extreme value to the real estate.”
To Carucci, showcasing great art on the walls of Sotheby’s Realty properties made sense; after all, the brand is renowned as an art auction house. “We’re definitely going to continue with the idea not only here in Boston, but also in other parts of the country,” he says. “It’s important to show local artists like Giovanni and others in settings like this, because I think Boston is underrated in the art world in the United States. We have some great talent here.”
“Christ in the Storm on the Sea” by Rembrandt.
The response from prospective homebuyers has been staggering, says Carucci. The masterpieces have been hung in listed properties like the Four Seasons PrivateResidences One Dalton Street. All 13 pieces have been sold and remain in Boston.
“The reaction has been warm and gratifying,” says DeCunto, whose favorite piece is Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” When asked how long it took him to painstakingly re-create the 13 pieces, DeCunto says, “I never reveal the time it takes to paint a piece. It really takes a lifetime of experience and thought. When painting, time doesn’t exist.”
“Landscape with Obelisk” by Govert Flinck graces the far wall of the One Dalton property.
Photography by: Courtesy of Gibson Sotheby's; Courtesy of Giovanni Decunto