Nuns vs. the Art Market

Posted on: January 19th, 2012

The daughters of Mary Mother of Our Saviour and St Joseph’s Chapel, in Round Top, New York have failed in their lawsuit against art dealer Mark Zaplin and local art appraiser Mark LaSalle. The nuns sold their 19th-century painting Notre Dame des Anges, with  the Virgin Mary holding the Christ by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 2006 for $450,000 to Zaplin after LaSalle’s appraisal.

Two years later in 2008, the work was sold to an art dealer in Dallas for about $2.5 million. On discovering this, the nuns sued Zaplin and LaSalle, claiming the men had conspired to defraud them of $1.7 million from the sale of their Bouguereau painting. Zaplin denied any conspiracy to defraud the nuns, countering that the nuns were experiencing seller’s remorse. The lawsuit came to an end last week when the jury ruled in favor of Zaplin and LaSalle.