‘Lost’ Gustav Klimt painting to be auctioned

  • By Bethany Bell
  • BBC News, Vienna

Legend, The painting is believed to depict a daughter of Adolf or Justus Lieser.

A painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, thought lost for 100 years, will be auctioned in Vienna.

Many questions remain unanswered regarding the unfinished painting, Portrait of Fraulein Lieser, which Klimt began in 1917, a year before his death.

There are also debates about the identity of the woman in the photo and what happened to the painting during the Nazi era.

The painting’s value is estimated at €50 million ($53 million; £42 million), although it could fetch a higher price.

It is believed to represent one of the daughters of Adolf or Justus Lieser, brothers from a wealthy Jewish industrial family.

Art historians Thomas Natter and Alfred Weidinger claim that the painting depicts Margarethe Constance Lieser, the daughter of Adolf Lieser.

But the auction house im Kinsky in Vienna, which is auctioning the work, suggests that the painting could also depict one of the two daughters of Justus Lieser and his wife Henriette.

Henriette, known as Lilly, was a patron of modern art. She was deported by the Nazis and died in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust.

His daughters, Hélène and Annie, both survived World War II.

The auction house said in a statement that the painting’s exact fate after 1925 was “unclear.”

“What is known is that it was acquired by a legal predecessor of the consignor in the 1960s and returned to the current owner through three successive inheritances.”

The identity of the current Austrian owners has not been made public.

The painting is being sold on behalf of these owners and the legal successors of Adolf and Henriette Lieser, based on the Washington Principles, an international agreement to return Nazi-looted artworks to the descendants of the people whose pieces were taken.

Ernst Ploil of Im Kinsky told the BBC: “We have an agreement, according to Washington principles, with the whole family.”

The im Kinsky catalog described the deal as “a fair and just solution.”

However, Erika Jakubovits, executive director of the Austrian Jewish Community Presidency, said there remained “many unanswered questions.”

She called for the matter to be investigated by “an independent party.”

“Art restitution is a very sensitive issue, all research must be carried out with precision and detail, and the result must be understandable and transparent,” said Ms Jakubovits.

“It must be ensured that there is also a state-of-the-art procedure for future private restitutions.”

Klimt’s works have already fetched huge sums at auction.

Gn entert
News Source : www.bbc.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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