The portrait of Miss Lieser was auctioned for 30 million euros | iRADIO

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The portrait of Miss Lieser by Gustav Klimt, which was long considered lost, was auctioned in Vienna on Wednesday for 30 million euros (758 million crowns). The APA agency informs about it.



Vienna
13:07 24/04/2024 (Updated: 18:43 24/04/2024)

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Gustav Klimt painting titled Portrait of Miss Lieser | Photo: Leonhard Foeger | Source: Reuters

The works of the Austrian painter, graphic artist and the most important representative of the Viennese Art Nouveau have been highly sought-after items at art auctions, especially in the last two years. The term so-called “Klimtomania” is even used, although art market expert Magda Machková from the Artplus.cz server points out that the name Klimtomania should be taken with a grain of salt.


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The author himself experienced the greatest Klimtomania in the period of his greatest fame, i.e. at the beginning of the 20th century in Vienna, when he was the most sought-after portraitist of local rich circles.

“For the past twenty years, he has been a very sought-after painter, both his representative paintings, which he created on commission, and free works, such as landscapes, sell well. There aren’t that many of them on the market, so the demand is really high,” says Machková.

The 140 by 80 centimeter oil painting depicts a girl with short brown hair wrapped in a long blue cloak with colorful appliqué. Experts do not know exactly which girl was Klimt’s model, perhaps she is the daughter of the rich industrialist Adolf Lieser, Margaretha.

It was Lieser who bought the Klimt painting for 15,000 crowns at the time. But it could also be his niece. In the end, the portrait was never completed and handed over, because Gustav Klimt died on February 6, 1918, at the age of 55, and did not finish the painting completely.

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That it is Lieser’s daughter is indicated by Klimt’s accounting records, where the Liesers were listed as payers, but Machková draws attention to one more interesting fact:“As part of the pre-auction research, the auction house got access to materials from the last exhibition in 1926 and, based on a note on the only preserved black-and-white photograph from 1925, found that Mrs. Lieser was listed as the owner at the time, but Henrietta, i.e. Margaretha’s aunt. She herself had two daughters of the same age and very similar physiognomy, Helena and Anna, so some experts are now leaning towards the interpretation that the portrait could be one of the cousins ​​of the original model.”

The Portrait was not heard of until the 1960s, when it was acquired by the family of the current owners from Austria through an unspecified sales gallery, and even they had no idea how valuable the painting was until the end of 2022. When they inquired about a possible sale, it turned out to be an oil painting by Gustav Klimt.

According to Machková, the auction house stated that it was hanging in the entrance hall of a villa, and the owners probably had no idea what work it was. The canvas was neither signed nor dated. An estimated price of between 50 and 30 million euros would mean the third or fourth place in the current list of Klimt’s most expensive sales, he has already crossed the top mark of 100 million dollars twice.

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“But the ambitions are really high, I think the previous sales, especially last year’s from London, contributed to them. And also an increasingly wealthy clientele from Asia, especially China and Japan, where Klimt is very popular.” adds Magda Machková from Artplus.cz.

The effigy was thought lost for nearly a century.The rediscovery of this portrait of a woman, one of the most beautiful portraits of Klimt’s last period of work, is a sensation,” auction house im Kinsky said in a statement. The im Kinsky Auction House is located in the Kinsky Palace in the center of Vienna and has been offering its services to collectors for over thirty years. On a global scale, it is rather a regional specialist for Austrian old art and classic modern, antiques.

The previous record for a painting auction in Austria belonged to the work of Frans Francken II. entitled “Humanity’s Eternal Dilemma: The Choice Between Virtue and Vice”, which was auctioned in 2010 for seven million euros. An auction surcharge will be added to the price in the center of the sold painting. The APA did not say how high it will be.

Michaela Vetešková, CTK

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