Found a work by Riopelle

A work by Jean Paul Riopelle, praised for its “precious” and “unique” character, has been found at Mirabel, 17 years after it was stolen along with three other pieces that could not be found.

The Sûreté du Québec announced on Friday that it recovered the work during a July 20 search by investigators from the White Collar Crime Service in a Mirabel apartment building.

This search could make it possible to solve this act of theft of tens of thousands of dollars, committed in 2005 in the Laurentians in the studio of the famous Quebec painter in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson.

According to Alain Lacoursière, ex-commissioner for art theft, a neighbor was alerted by the alarm system before the thieves could reach the main factory.

According to our sources, the information that led to the Mirabel raid came from a member of the public.

” Unique “

In a press release published on Friday, the SQ refers to it as a lithograph, but according to gallery owner Simon Blais, who helped appraise this work shortly after its discovery, it is in fact what we can call an original work.

“Actually, it’s acrylic on a print from the 1970s, a technique that Riopelle indulged in often in the 1980s,” explained Mr. Blais, estimating the work to be worth twenty thousand dollars.


Photo courtesy, SQ

The “unique” work found by the Sûreté du Québec is worth around $20,000, according to an expert.

For her part, Canadian art specialist Sophie Ouellet argues that the find is an “improved” lithograph or a “mixed media” because Riopelle hand-added detail to it after it was printed.

“When it’s enhanced with color, it becomes unique. In the gallery we will ask more because there is only one like that. It becomes even more valuable. »

According to Ms. Ouellet, Riopelle’s lithographs are particularly sought after by gallery owners because they are “very studied and very limited”.

“He is one of the few Canadian artists who places such a high value on lithography. »

A work of art worth $100,000 is missing

At the moment, no arrests have been made in connection with the 2005 flight, the SQ states.


Photo courtesy, SQ

This “mixed media” piece, which is still missing after being stolen in 2005, is said to be worth more than $100,000.

At least two of the three works are still missing (see photos) are also mixed media, which are considered original works and date from the years 1983 and 1985. The 1983 would be worth over $100,000, according to Simon Blais, while the 1985 would be worth about $25,000. At least three of the four works stolen in the 2005 theft are unnamed. The SQ has not released any information about the fourth plant.

This other stolen work by the artist from 1985 would be worth $25,000

Photo courtesy, SQ

This other stolen work by the artist from 1985 would be worth $25,000

According to our information, the residents of the place where the confiscation took place were met by the investigators. It is possible that the work in question passed through the hands of several people before ending up in the Mirabel residence.

The SQ is asking anyone with information about the 2005 theft or the work being sought to contact its crime information center at 1-800-659-4264.


The painter Jean Paul Riopelle in his studio in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, photographed around 1976.

Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

The painter Jean Paul Riopelle in his studio in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, photographed around 1976.

Jean Paul Riopelle is one of the greatest artists from Quebec and Canada in history. Born in Montreal in 1923, he was one of the first Canadian artists to enjoy international fame. His most imposing canvas, meeting point, has been on display in the ballroom of Rideau Hall, where the Governor General of Canada resides, since 2021. The artist, who died in 2002, was the subject of an exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts last year that was entirely dedicated to him.

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