George Rodrigue paintings

A ‘Blue Dog’ painting by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue was recovered hours after it was stolen from a New Orleans gallery on Tuesday. The painting, titled “Wendy and Me,” depicts the artist with the head of a blue dog, as he stands next to his wife on their wedding day. The artist, rose to popularity in the 1990’s when he began doing paintings depicting blue dogs which were inspired by a Cuban legend concerning a ghost dog who hunted naughty kids.

The painting, which is estimated to be worth around $250,000, was stolen from a the wall of a French Quarter gallery called Rodrigue Studio. Though surveillance cameras did record the theft, the suspect has yet to be identified. Security footage showed that the thief simply walked into the gallery, looked around, grabbed the painting, and then walked out.

Hours later, two paintings were discovered leaning against the wall of the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Hotel by members of a band called Stereo Fire Empire. The band returned the two paintings, one of which was later confirmed to be ‘Wendy and Me’ to the police. The other piece of art was found to be a numbered print, which was more than likely given to a non-profit, though authorities have yet to determine which one it may have come from.

Rodrigue’s son, Jacques, released a statement saying, “We are so thankful for the good Samaritans that saved this special artwork. Dad painted ‘Wendy and Me’ for his wedding to Wendy so this is an irreplaceable piece to my family.”

So dear is the painting to the artist’s family, in fact, that it generally hangs in the home of a member of the Rodrigue family. It was being displayed at the gallery, where it has since been rehung and placed under guard, as part of a memorial to the it’s artist, who passed away in 2013. Despite having a bent frame, the painting was in otherwise good condition.

photo credit: FunGi_ (Trading) via photopin cc