The Art Thief - Michael Finkel

The Art Thief

By Michael Finkel

  • Release Date: 2023-06-27
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
From 325 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • One of the most remarkable true-crime narratives of the twenty-first century: the story of the world’s most prolific art thief, Stéphane Breitwieser. • “The Art Thief, like its title character, has confidence, élan, and a great sense of timing."—The New Yorker

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Lit Hub

"Enthralling." —The Wall Street Journal

In this spellbinding portrait of obsession and flawed genius, the best-selling author of The Stranger in the Woods brings us into Breitwieser’s strange world—unlike most thieves, he never stole for money, keeping all his treasures in a single room where he could admire them.

For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly eight years—in museums and cathedrals all over Europe—Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.

In The Art Thief, Michael Finkel brings us into Breitwieser’s strange and fascinating world. Unlike most thieves, Breitwieser never stole for money. Instead, he displayed all his treasures in a pair of secret rooms where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of a remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to circumvent practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtaking number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop—until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.

This is a riveting story of art, crime, love, and an insatiable hunger to possess beauty at any cost.


  • The art thief

    By fystee2
    Great story! Well writtenFysteeone
  • Compelling true story

    By Venamo
    Well written, flows well, never boring. Intriguing true story about famous art heists
  • Interesting

    By Amigo73
    Well written, but hard to read about a man so lacking in, well, so much.
  • The Art Thief

    By jejejwkejrbvyvehw
    An incredible story of a wasted life and a man’s life of desperation. His life of uncommon thievery destroyed not only his life, but those who actually loved him. A tragedy.