Enigmatic Klimt Painting Fetches $37 Million at Auction


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“Portrait of Fräulein Lieser,” an enigmatic, long-lost 1917 painting by Gustav Klimt, was sold for 35 million euros at the auction house im Kinsky in Vienna. The winning bid was tendered by Patti Wong, the founder of Patti Wong Associates, on behalf of an Asian client.

Historical and Ownership Uncertainties

The unsigned and unfinished Klimt artwork, estimated to sell for $32-53 million, raised questions about the subject’s identity and ownership history. The painting’s provenance has been unclear since 1925, and its ownership during the Nazi era casts a shadow over its past.

Key Points:

  • The identity of the girl depicted in the painting is uncertain.
  • The auction house could not clarify the precise provenance of the artwork.
  • The painting’s ownership during the Nazi era poses historical questions.

“We’re very happy with the price,” said Wong, expressing satisfaction with the auction outcome. Despite uncertainties, Wong stated that thorough research had been conducted prior to the purchase.

Notable Purchase History

  • Wong’s previous purchase of Klimt’s “Lady With a Fan” for $108.4 million set a record for the artist at auction.
  • Her success in acquiring multimillion-dollar Klimt paintings for Asian collectors showcases a trend in high-end art acquisitions.

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