Mystery of the Lost Paintings

Mystery of the Lost Paintings is a seven-part television series produced by Sky Arts and developed as a collaboration between Peter Glidewell, Ballandi Arts and Factum Arte. The series focuses on seven great paintings by Vermeer, Monet, Van Gogh, Franz Marc, Klimt, Lempicka, and Sutherland that were destroyed, stolen or lost during the 20th Century.

The programme follows a team from Factum Arte as they scan, print, paint and work to understand and recreate each painting. Each hour-long episode narrates the story of an artist, their painting, and how it was lost. The emphasis of each episode is not the recreation itself but a highly detailed performance revealing the artist´s biography, the character of the original painting and the discussions that accompany the rematerialisation.

The episodes of Mystery of the Lost Paintings were broadcasted in the UK, Italy and Germany on the following dates of 2018:

Artist UK Italy Germany
Sutherland May 2 April 19 April 22
Monet May 9 April 26 April 29
Van Gogh May 16 May 10 April 1
Vermeer May 23 April 12 April 8
Lempicka May 30 May 17 May 13
Klimt June 6 April 5 April 15
Marc June 13 May 3 May 6
Caravaggio June 20 April 29 May 20

2017 Recording Monet's
Water Lilies
2017 Mystery of the

2018 UK
The Guardian
2018 Italy Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica La Stampa, Il Giornale, Libero, Il Messagero, Leggo

From October 10th to December 8th 2019, the recreations were on display at Palazzo Abatellis in Palermo, Italy, as part of the exhibition Il ritorno dei capolavori perduti. The exhibition was organised by the association "Amici dei Musei siciliani" and its president, Bernardo Tortorici Montaperto, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the theft of Caravaggio's Nativity with Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence in the Oratory of San Lorenzo, where Factum Arte’s recreation was installed in 2015.

From July 4th to December 13th 2020, the Lost Paintings were displayed as part of the exhibition Nothing is lost (Nulla è perduto) at the Casa delle Esposizioni of Illegio, Italy. The exhibition, curated by Don Alessio Geretti, was a tribute to the ways in which cultural heritage that has been lost or stolen can be recreated.

From June 26th to July 24th 2022, the recreated Medicine is on display at the Ex Chiesa del Carmine in Piacenza, in an event organised by Arthemisia.

The Concert

Johannes Vermeer

Five Sunflowers in a Vase

Vincent Van Gogh


Gustav Klimt

The Tower of Blue Horses

Franz Marc

Water Lilies

Claude Monet


Tamara de Lempicka

Winston Churchill

Graham Sutherland

Nativity with Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence


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