How the movie “Stuart Little” Solved the Mystery of a Lost Painting Decades Ago

Arturo Perozo
4 min readNov 29, 2022
Pic Courtesy: Nexofin

Is the year 2009 on Christmas Eve, imagine you are on the couch at home watching a movie with your family, suddenly, you look at the background of a scene and you see a painting that catches your attention, but not only that, it looks familiar, as if you had seen it before, and indeed, you have seen it before, but you do not know very well where. So, as the art historian that you are, you start to investigate.

Gergely Barki, was watching a movie with his daughter. As I mentioned before, it was 2009 in the middle of Christmas Eve, the children’s classic “Stuart Little” was playing on TV with a cast of actors including Hugh Laurie, Geena Davis and Michael J. Fox voicing little Stuart, a talking mouse. As he watches the movie, a painting appears in the background that looks oddly familiar, but he can’t remember where or when.

Pic Courtesy: 20minutos.es

As the film progresses, he sees another scene. Now he does remember where he has seen it, in a photograph of an art exhibition, many years ago. He does not remember who the author is, let alone the name of the painting , but now he is sure he has seen it before.

The film and the plot continue to unfold, there is one particular scene where the painting reappears in the background. He manages to glimpse more details, and thanks to that, Barki remembers that the painting was created by Robert Bereny, a Hungarian painter. The painting in question “Sleeping Lady with Black Vase” was the name, and since 1928 its whereabouts were unknown. That’s why it caught his attention when he saw it, because the painting has been missing for decades.

Pic Courtesy: 20minutos.es

How is it possible that a painting that has been missing for decades appeared in a Hollywood children’s movie years later?

Is it the real “Sleeping Lady with Black Vase” or a cheap imitation?

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Arturo Perozo

Im a Chef, Krav Maga practitioner/enthusiast and a Writer. I know, weird combination. Not a native english speaker and writer, so feel free to correct me.