Portrait by Gustav Klimt Discovered After Nearly a Century


A painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, thought to have been lost for a century, has been discovered in Vienna. The “Portrait of Fraulein Lieser” was last publicly seen in 1925 and was once owned by a Jewish family in Austria. The current owners’ family has had the painting since the 1960s, but its history in the intervening years is unknown. The im Kinsky auction house, which estimates the painting’s worth at over $54 million (£42 million), has described the find as “a sensation”. The portrait will be auctioned on 24 April on behalf of the owners and the legal successors of the Lieser family, in line with the Washington Principles, which mandate the return of Nazi-looted art to the descendants of the original owners. Prior to the auction, the painting will be displayed in various international locations, including the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Hong Kong. An art lawyer has stated that there is no evidence that the painting was looted or stolen before or during World War II. Klimt’s work has previously achieved high prices at auction; his “Lady with a Fan” piece sold for £85.3 million in June, setting a record for the most valuable artwork ever auctioned in Europe.

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