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Sale: 386 / Modern Art, Dec. 10. 2011 in Munich Lot 11

Gustav Klimt - Auf einem Sofa liegende Frau

Lot description
Pencil drawing.
Strobl 2563. With estate stamp. On fine brownish paper. 37,2 x 56,9 cm (14,6 x 22,4 in), size of sheet.

PROVENANCE: Klipstein and Kornfeld, Bern.
Galerie Kornfeld and Cie, Bern.
Prof. Walther Kastner, Linz.
Private ownership, Linz/Danube.

EXHIBITION: Exhibition Gustav Klimt, 50 drawings, inventory catalog 61, Klipstein and Kornfeld, Bern 30 November 1957 - 4 January 1958, cat. no. 12 (with illu.).
Collection Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walther Kastner, sculptures, prints, paintings, Schlossmuseum Linz, 1975/76.

Gustav Klimt was born at the XIV district of Baumgarten in Vienna on 14 July 1862 as son of a gold engraver. In 1876 he began his studies at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule under the influence of the history painter Hans Makart, which was apparent in his first orders for theatre decorations and ceiling paintings. Soon Klimt received prizes for his works. At the turn of the century - he was just designing wall and ceiling decorations for the university - he developed a new two-dimensionally-ornamental, decorative style, which combines naturalistic details of bodies with abstract, colorful, mosaic-like patterns. His commissioners protested resolutely and legal proceedings erupted. In 1905 Klimt was allowed to keep the designs in return of his payment. At the same time the Vienna Secession emerged and Klimt was a founding member and its first president from 1897 to 1905. In 1902 Klimt executed the famous Beethoven frieze for Josef Maria Olbrich's Secession building, which can still be visited in the basement of the building. In 1905 Klimt and a group of like-minded people left the Secession due to conflicts with the artist association's naturalistic wing. Klimt's motifs were partly provocatively erotic, partly playfully ornamental. He created impressing portraits, especially of ladies from the Viennese high society, but also intensively dense landscape paintings. Like no other artist and as the favorite of certain circles of the Viennese society of the ending monarchy he was able to depict the spirit of the feudal bourgeoisie with its aspirations to cultivate the aesthetic and its yearning for the pleasures of life at the Fin-de-Siècle.

The swift line, the sophisticated organization of space and the eccentric economic use of artistic means characterize this masterly sheet, which presumably shows Friederike Beer-Monti, daughter of the owner of the Vienna ‘Kaiserbar‘. The garden of Klimt’s studio in Hietzingen was the place where the 24-year old daughter from a bourgeoisie family and the artist met in 1915. By that time the founding father of the Vienna Secession had already gained a certain reputation for his numerous erotic drawings, both provocative as well as impressive portraits of ladies from the Viennese upper class. Klimt followed Beer-Monti‘s wish to be eternalized in a portrait by his hand, in the course of several portrait sessions he had made a number of drawings which show her in various poses. This sheet, which, unlike the other drawings and the final portrait, do not show her standing upright but sensuously reclined in front of the painter’s eyes is a gripping document of a moment of a special intimacy and intensity between the successful artist and the young model.

The artist's international acknowledgement was proven by numerous exhibitions and finally moved the conservative spirits, who honored him: Although a professorship for Klimt was repeatedly refused, he became honorary member of the academies in Vienna and Munich. Gustav Klimt died from a stroke in his hometown Vienna on 6 February 1918. [JS].

Gustav Klimt
Auf einem Sofa liegende Frau, 1916.
Pencil drawing
€ 40,000 / $ 46,000
€ 87,840 / $ 101.015

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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