Gustav Klimt painting lost for 100 years to go up for auction

By Jen Krausz on
 January 27, 2024

One of Gustav Klimt's last paintings, which was lost for nearly 100 years, will be put up for auction after it was found in Vienna.

The only known photo of the painting, titled "Portrait of Fräulein Lieser," is kept in the archives of the Austrian National Library.

"The rediscovery of this portrait, one of the most beautiful of Klimt's last creative period, is a sensation," said the im Kinsky auction house in a statement announcing the discovery. "As a key figure of Viennese Art Nouveau, Gustav Klimt epitomizes fin de siècle Austrian Modernism more than any other artist. His work, particularly his portraits of successful women from the upper middle class at the turn of the century, enjoy the highest recognition worldwide."

The painting is expected to be sold for millions of dollars when it goes up for auction in April. Until then, it will travel to Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong and other locations around the world for short exhibitions.

"Klimt's paintings rank in the top echelons of the international art market. His portraits of women are seldom offered at auctions. A painting of such rarity, artistic significance, and value has not been available on the art market in Central Europe for decades," im Kinsky auction house said. "This also applies to Austria, where no work of art of even approximate importance has been available."

This exciting development will no doubt drive the price of the artwork up even more.