Just because something is a great work of art doesn't make it immune to the hazards of war and the fingers of thieves. Pictured here are some of the greatest artworks that we've lost over the past century.

Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Baptist and Nicholas and Angels, by Lorenzo Monaco, 1402. Destroyed by fire in the Flakturm of Friedrichshain with 416 other works from the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, following the capture of Berlin, May 1945.

(via clarkvr)

St. James Led to His Execution, by Andrea Mantegna around 1455, destroyed on March 11, 1944, when the Allies bombed the Ovetari Chapel in Padua, Italy.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Last Judgment, painted by an unknown master from School of Fra Angelico in 1456, destroyed in May 1945 with 416 other artworks in the Friedrichshain Flakturm.

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Saint Matthew and the Angel, painted for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi die Francesi in Rome by Caravaggio around 1602, destroyed in 1945 with 416 other works of art in the Friedrichshain Flakturm.

It was unacceptable for the priests of the chapel:

"They took it down, saying that the figure with its legs crossed and its feet rudely exposed to the public had neither the decorum nor the appearance of a saint." – according to The Incarnate Text by James Kearney.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, by Caravaggio in 1609. It was stolen in October 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily after removed from its frame.

There are some theories about this famous artwork. Some says that it was stolen by the local Sicilian mafia or by professional thieves for a private collector but had been destroyed by rats and pigs while hidden in a farm and the remains burned.

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The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, the only seascape of Rembrandt van Rijn, 1633. Stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston in 1990.

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The Concert by Johannes Vermeer, 1664, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in March 1990.

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A Harlot's Progress, a series of six paintings by William Hogarth in 1731.

An old woman suggests a profitable occupation

It shows a story of a young woman named M. Hackabout, who arrives in London and becomes a prostitute. The original paintings were destroyed in a fire at Fonthill House in 1755, but Hogarth sold 1,240 sets of six prints to subscribers, so the artworks survived the almost three centuries.

M. is now a kept woman, the mistress of a wealthy Jewish merchant

M. has gone from kept woman to common prostitute

M. beat hemp in Bridewell Prison

Moll dying of syphilis

Moll is dead aged only 23

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Landschaft auf Rügen mit Regenbogen, by Caspar David Friedrich, painted about 1810, lost since 1945.

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Klosterruine im Schnee (Monastery burial-ground under snow) by Caspar David Friedrich, 1818, disappeared in 1945

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Dom Über Einer Stadt (Cathedral Towering over a Town) and Medieval Town by Water by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, around 1830, originals were destroyed by fire

(via Pinakothek)

The Stone Breakers by Gustave Courbet in 1849-50, destroyed with 154 other works in a transport vehicle that was bombed by Allied forces during moving the pictures to the castle of Königstein in February 1945.

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View of the Sea at Scheveningen, by Vincent Van Gogh in 1882, stolen by two thieves from the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands in December 2002.

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Six Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh in 1888, destroyed in a fire after US bombing of Osaka in 1945

A photo of the painting has been uncovered in the archive of the Japanese Mushakoji Saneatsu Memorial Museum with its original orange frame in September 2013.

(via BBC)

Blowing from Guns in British India (also known as Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English), by Vasily Vereshchagin around 1890. According to legend, it was bought and destroyed by the British.

(via Asian History)

Schubert at the Piano, by Gustav Klimt in 1899, destroyed with thirteen more works of Klmit in 1945 when retreating Nazis set Schloss Immendorf on fire.

(via Wikipaintings)

The Faculty Paintings (also known as the Klimt University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings), made by Gustam Klimt for the ceiling of the University of Vienna's Great Hall between 1900 and 1907. None of them would go on display in the university. In May 1945 all three paintings were destroyed by SS forces in Schloss Immendorf.




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Waterloo Bridge, by Claude Monet in 1901. Stolen in October 2012 from Kunsthal Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands and presumably burnt by an accomplice.

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Pastoral, by Henri Matisse, 1905, stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 2010

(via Henri Matisse)

Two of the several Water Lilies paintings (a 18 ft or 5,5 m long one and a smaller) by Claude Monet, burnt in 1958 in The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The museum tried to restore the smaller one, but three years later they gave up.

The current Monet water lilies was acquired after the fire as a replacement.

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En Canot (In the Canoe), a Cubist painting by Jean Metzinger, 1913. It was exhibited in Paris and Prague before it had been housed in the Galerie Der Sturm and after the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. It was occupied by the Nazis in 1936 and exhibited in German cities before it was lost in 1938.

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Woman with a Fan, by Amedeo Modigliani in 1919. Stolen from Musée de Petit Palais in Paris, France in 2010.

It may have been hastily dropped in a garbage bin and destroyed with the rest of that day's trash, according to testimony from one of three suspects in the theft, a 34-year-old watch repairman, reported the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche about the ongoing investigation.

Other suspects include a Serb called "Spiderman" who is accused of lifting the five paintings from the walls of the museum and then loading them in his car nearby. An alarm system failed and three night guards on duty didn't notice the theft, according to the museum.

The third suspect is an antique shop owner, who says he didn't order the theft, but he did give the paintings to the watch repairman who supposedly threw them away.– according to Art Fix Daily.

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Two Balconies by Salvador Dalí, 1929, stolen from the Museu Chacara do Céu, Rio de Janeiro in February 2006

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The Reaper, by Joan Miró in 1937 for the Spanish Republic's pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition. The large mural (one of his largest works with its height of 18 ft or 5.5 metros) was lost or simply destroyed in 1938.

(via MyDaily)

A full-length portrait of Sir Winston Churchill by Graham Sutherland in 1954, a present for the 80-year-old Churchill, who deeply hated the portrait. He felt it made him "look old, stooped, tired and posed as if sitting on the lavatory." The artwork was destroyed by his wife, Lady Clementine only few months after its presentation.

(via Dangerous Minds)

A signed 1963 Collotype by Pablo Picasso (The Painter), lost in the crash of a Swissair jet in September 1998 with some diamonds, jewelry and currency. The painting was shipped as general cargo, not as valuable cargo in shockproof container.

(via Masterworks Fine Art)

Bonus: The lost Leonardo, The Battle of Anghiari, 1505

In 2012 a team has found evidence that Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece is still hidden beneath some later frescoes in the Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Peter Paul Rubens' copy of the central scene of the painting from 1603, based on an engraving of 1553 by Lorenzo Zacchia, who have seen the original in Florence.

Some of Da Vinci's charcoal, pen and ink studies for the picture are known to exist.

(via Wikimedia Commons)