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St. Charles Art Dealer Sued Over Missing $103K Toulouse-Lautrec Lithograph

A noted Henri Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph may have been accidentally thrown out or lost, according to the Daily Herald.

State Farm Insurance is suing St. Charles art dealer Alfred DeSimone, alleging negligence in the disappearance of an original lithograph by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the French artist who is among the most well-known figures of the Post-Impressionist movement, the Daily Herald reports.

At the center of the lawsuit is the lithograph of Artistide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret, 1893, which State Farm alleges DeSimone either discarded or lost, according to the Daily Herald. An attorney for State Farm said told the Daily Herald that Thomas Rosensteel of St. Charles purchased the lithograph in 2006 as an investment. The lawsuit, filed this week, states that Rosensteel gave it to DeSimone to store with the agreement that he would pay him a fee as soon as a buyer was found.

But Rosensteel found a buyer himself, and on July 20, 2010, went to get the piece from DeSimone, who was unable to find it, according to the Daily Herald’s report on the lawsuit. The lawsuit states that DeSimone that he may have stored the lithograph in a mailing tube that may have been discarded or sent to someone else.

Rosensteel filed a claim with State Farm, which filed the lawsuit to recoup its loss. Check the Daily Herald for more details about the lawsuit.

A painter, printmaker and illustrator, Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 to 1901) was best-known for his works reflecting the often seamier side of life in Paris in the late 1800s. His art included paintings magazine illustrations, and cabaret posters, including a series he did for the cabaret Moulin Rouge.

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