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Rare Van Gogh, Rockwell Paintings Uncovered

A van Gogh painting was found in a fraudster's safety deposit box in Spain. And a Norman Rockwell WWII painting will be auctioned off this month.
Posted at 2:56 PM, May 11, 2014

Two paintings with a lot of history have just recently been unearthed.

El Mundo reports tax collectors in Spain found a lost painting — a van Gogh work dating back to 1889, according to art experts. Seals on the back indicate it has belonged to three different museums during its history.

The painting, titled "Cypress Sky and Country," was found in a Spanish tax offender's safety deposit box after it had been missing for almost 40 years. Nazis had taken the painting from a Dutch museum during their occupation of the Netherlands.

One of the painting's seals lists its last location as a museum in Vienna, Austria. It's unknown how the painting left that museum or whether it was stolen. (Via Kunsthistorisches Museum

The painting's value is also unclear, but van Gogh had reportedly painted several similar versions of this artwork. One of them sold for $57 million dollars more than 20 years ago and currently hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (Via Vincent van Gogh / National GalleryVincent van Gogh / Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Another famous painting was brought out of storage in Massachusetts after it hung in a school principal's office for 50 years.

According to WBZ-TV, the painting dates back to 1941 and was a gift to the principal from the artist Norman Rockwell.

The painting was one of many of Rockwell's artworks intended for The Saturday Evening Post's cover, but this one never made the cut.

The original painting depicts World War II, a recurring character seen in other paintings as he rides with soldiers in the back of a military vehicle. According to a Rockwell Museum official, they didn't even know it existed. (Via The Saturday Evening Post)

The Boston Globe reports Rockwell gave the principal the painting as a gift for graduating seniors. It was then put into storage in 2001 when school officials feared it would be stolen.

The painting will be auctioned off later this month with 10 other Rockwell paintings at Sotheby's in New York. It was estimated to be worth at least $1.5 million. 

A previous Rockwell painting titled "Saying Grace" sold for a hefty $46 million in December. It appeared on the Saturday Evening Post's cover in 1955.

The mayor and school officials plan to use the money from the auction to start a foundation benefiting schools.