An art researcher spots missing Hungarian painting in the background of the 1999 family classic.
Screenshot courtesy Hyperallergic and Youtube
It was 2009. There Gergely Barki sat, watching Stuart Little, enjoying some quality time with his young daughter Lola nestled in his lap, when the researcher and art historian spotted something so startling that he nearly toppled his kid from her perch. In the background of a particularly adorable scene featuring the entire Little family convened in front of the fireplace, Barki spied, mounted above the mantel, a painting by Hungarian artist Róbert Berény. The artwork, “Sleeping Lady with Black Vase” (1927-1928), had last been exhibited in 1928 in Hungary before being sold to an unidentified individual, and had vanished from the country and public awareness, sometime around World War II, Barki estimated. Berény had been part of the Hungarian avant-garde collective Group of Eight, or The Eight, in the onset of the 20th century, and instrumental in bringing exhibitions of modernist art to Hungary.