An art historian has recovered a supposedly lost painting by Hungarian artist Róbert Berény after spotting it in the background of the 1999 children’s film Stuart Little. The painting, Berény’s Sleeping Lady With Black Vase, appears in the Little family’s home in the Hollywood adaptation of E.B. White’s classic children’s story. Despite there being a CGI mouse boy scampering around on the screen adorably drawing attention, art historian Gergely Barki somehow managed to spot the painting during a viewing of the film a few years ago. After making his discovery, Barki began contacting members of the film’s production team about the whereabouts of the painting, which was last displayed publicly in 1928. The historian eventually tracked down the set designer who purchased the painting for $500 at a California antiques store for a discussion of the piece’s influence and history. Sources are unclear about whether they also discussed that little white tuxedo Stuart wears, and whether they made any real ones or if they were all just CGI.
The painting has now been purchased by an art collector and returned to Hungary, where it’s set to go up for auction on Dec. 13. Meanwhile, art historians have turned in droves to that stack of old VHS tapes gathering dust in their parents’ closets, scouring Blank Check and Casper for more lost masterpieces.