Klimt’s painting of a woman found in Vienna after 100 years


By John

A painting by the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, thought lost for about 100 years, has been found in Vienna. The BBC reports it. The portrait of Fraulein Lieser once belonged to a Jewish family in Austria and was last seen in public in 1925 ahead of an exhibition held in 1926 by Otto Kallir-Nirenstein in the Neue Galerie in Vienna. Her fate is unclear, but the family of the current owners has owned the painting since the 1960s.

Im Kinsky auction house estimates the painting’s value at more than $54m (£42m) and has described the rediscovery as “sensational”. “A painting of such rarity, such artistic scope and value has not been available on the art market in Central Europe for decades,” im Kinsky said in a statement. The portrait will be auctioned on April 24 on behalf of the owners and the legal heirs of the Lieser family. This is based on the Washington Principles, an international agreement to return works of art looted by the Nazis to the descendants of the people from whom they were stolen.

Ahead of the auction, the painting will be showcased in various international locations including the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Hong Kong, the auction house said. The portrait once belonged to the Lieser family, wealthy Jewish industrialists from Vienna. An art lawyer told Austrian media that they have so far found no evidence that the work was looted or stolen before or during World War II. Klimt’s art has fetched huge sums at auctions in the past.