Hodler painting theft confirmed

A painting by leading Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler was stolen from a private collection in 2006, it has emerged. 

The work was taken from a Zurich collector and was destined to go on show at a Hodler retrospective in Bern, the Museum of Fine Arts director Matthias Frehner confirmed on Friday. 

The work, believed to be Landscape in Ticino, still features in the catalogue for the exhibition, A Symbolic Vision, which opened earlier this month. 

Zurich police confirmed a Hodler painting had been stolen in 2006 but would not identify it. 

However a report on the police website from March 2007 states a SFr1.1 million ($1.09 million) painting by the artist dated 1893, measuring 63cm by 50cm and depicting chestnut trees in Ticino was stolen in Zurich sometime between September 12 and October 31, 2006. 

Hodler, who lived from 1853 until 1918, is generally considered Switzerland’s national artist. The Museum of Fine Arts exhibition in Bern showcases around 150 works charting Hodler’s path from early realism to the symbolism characterizing his later works.