Poppy Flowers

Poppy Flowers
Artist Vincent van Gogh
Year 1887
Type Still life
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 65 cm × 54 cm (26 in × 21 in)

Poppy Flowers (also known as Vase And Flowers and Vase with Viscaria) is a painting by Vincent van Gogh with an estimated value of $50 million[1] to $55 million;[2] it was stolen from Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in August 2010 and is still yet to be found.[3]

Egyptian officials erroneously believed they had recovered the painting only hours after its theft when two Italian suspects attempted to board a plane to Italy at Cairo International Airport.[4] The same painting had been stolen from the same museum on June 4, 1977, and was recovered ten years later[5] in Kuwait.[6]

The painting is small, measuring 65 x 54 cm, and depicts yellow and red poppy flowers.[7] It is believed that van Gogh painted it in 1887, three years before his suicide.[5] The painting, which is of a vase of yellow and red poppies, contrasted against a dark ground is a reflection of Van Gogh's deep admiration for Adolphe Monticelli, an older painter whose work influenced him when first he saw it in Paris in 1886.[8]

Reaction to theft

In October 2010, an Egyptian court found 11 culture ministry employees, including Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Shalan, guilty of negligence of their professional duties;[3] they were freed on bail of about $1,750.[3]

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris put up a $175,000 reward for information leading to the painting.[9]


  1. "Egyptian authorities recover stolen Van Gogh painting". CNN. August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  2. "Egypt culture chief sleepless over Van Gogh theft". Reuters. August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Egyptian ministry officials jailed over Van Gogh theft". BBC News. 12 October 2010.
  4. "Faulty alarms blamed for Van Gogh theft in Egypt". BBC News. 22 August 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  5. 1 2 "Van Gogh painting stolen in Cairo". BBC News. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  6. "Egyptian minister says Van Gogh picture still missing". BBC News. 22 August 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  7. "Egypt Court Jails Officials Over Van Gogh's "Vase with Viscaria" Stolen in August". artdaily.org. April 22, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
  8. Guardian, Stolen Van Gogh Still Missing Retrieved August 26, 2010
  9. "Egyptian tycoon offers reward for Van Gogh theft". Reuters. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
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