Tate is pleased to announce that two paintings by J.M.W. Turner, stolen from an exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, on 28 July 1994, have both been recovered and will go on show at Tate Britain from 8 January.
The two paintings Shade and Darkness - the Evening of the Deluge and Light and Colour (Goethe’s Theory) - the Morning after the Deluge - Moses writing the Book of Genesis are two of Turner’s most significant works.
Investigation continues to try and recover a painting by Caspar David Friedrich from the collection of the Kunsthalle, Hamburg, stolen at the same time, and therefore no further information about the recovery of Tate’s paintings can be made available.
Shade and Darkness was recovered on 19 July 2000 but no announcement was made for fear it might jeopardise the recovery of the second painting. Light and Colour was recovered on 16 December 2002 and returned to this country on 18 December 2002.
The recovery operation was carried out in continental Europe but both paintings were recovered in Germany. The Metropolitan Police have provided advice throughout. For Tate, Sandy Nairne, formerly Director of Programmes, now Director of the National Portrait Gallery, co-ordinated the recovery operation. He and Tate’s Head of Conservation, Roy Perry, have both seen the paintings and are satisfied that they are the original works and that they are in good condition although they are without their original frames.
Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, said this morning:
These two paintings are amongst Turner’s most important works and, in their references to Goethe’s colour theories, show him to be at the forefront of European intellectual enquiry. I am grateful to all those who have worked over the years to make their recovery possible, and particularly to Sandy Nairne for his assiduous work towards this successful outcome.