When You Have "No Monet"

My mother-in-law forwarded me the following email this afternoon. I figured that some of my readers will appreciate its corny humor:

“A thief in Paris decided to steal some paintings from the Louvre.
After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van.

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, ‘Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the paintings:
I had no Monet
To buy Degas
To make the Van Gogh.’

See if you have De Gaulle to send this to someone else.
I sent it to you because I figured I had nothing Toulouse.”

*Could we make this joke longer? Can you add any more puns using artists’ names (or major French historical figures) from the 19th century?

  • heidenkind says:


  • H Niyazi says:

    ha! I can only guess your mum must be a teacher – I remember hearing this when I was primary(elementary) school!

    At least she is succinct – both my mum and my partner have this peculiar habit when telling jokes or stories…they add too much exposition, by the time they get the crux of the thing my mind is firmly somewhere else 🙂


  • Hels says:

    I saw him Ruskin down the street in the car and then he tried to Turner around when I wasn't watching. Now unless you can Hunt it down, you will just have to Sickert in your pipe and smoke it!

    not quite France 🙂

  • Judy says:

    @Hels, well done and so 19th C.!

  • The Clever Pup says:

    I'm still thinking of rhymes with Puvis de Chavanne!

  • The Clever Pup says:

    Good one Hels.

  • Suse says:

    I am such a sucker for corny jokes. Merci

  • M says:

    Ha! Glad that people have enjoyed the joke. Hels – great job! Very clever and fun.

    My husband's grandfather also contributed some puns, my favorite being that the thief needed to get fuel in the car so the van would "Gauguin" (go-again).

  • Val Span says:

    I'm a little Leighton joining this discussion, but I think the policeman should be promoted to Sargent.

  • Hels says:


    I can Valadon that finding. The policeman had to pay a king's Ranson to get it, but as I always say, just Roussel your skirt, Strutt your stuff, Poynter in the right direction and get out of Derain.

  • Val Span says:


    That was an art history lesson in itself! I'm all over Google now, reading about Valadon, Ranson, et al. Your name-dropping shall keep me entertained for hours!

  • M says:

    Very fun contributions, Val and Hels! (Hels, are you sure that you didn't come up with this original "no Monet" joke? You have a knack for these sort of puns!)

  • Ana de Castro says:

    very, very funny!

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.