Stolen Renoir to go on display March 30

A tiny Renoir landscape with a romantic back story will be unveiled March 30 at the Baltimore Museum of Art — 62 years, four months and 14 days since it last was seen publicly.

"The Renoir Returns" will reunite the 1879 painting "Paysage Bords de Seine" with more than 20 artworks from the collection of the Baltimore heiress Saidie May, who bequeathed her entire estate to the museum after her death in 1951.


"We are thrilled to welcome this charming painting back to the museum, to reintroduce it to the people of Baltimore and to reunite it with the many masterpieces from Saidie May's collection," museum director Doreen Bolger said in a news release.

"As we celebrate the BMA's 100th anniversary this year, we are particularly excited to honor May's legacy as one of the BMA's most generous donors."


The exhibit will run through July 20 at the museum in Charles Village.

Among the items included in the two-gallery exhibit will be a small oil sketch by pointillist master Georges Seurat that May purchased from a French gallery on the same day that she bought the Renoir landscape. There also will be a self-portrait by Edgar Degas that the museum bought with the $2,500 insurance settlement it received after the Renoir was reported missing on Nov. 17, 1951.

Among the other pieces on display will be artworks by such pivotal early 20th-century figures as Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro and Paul Klee.

In addition, May was an enthusiastic amateur painter, and some of her own artwork also will be on display.