Lost Gustav Klimt Painting Is Rediscovered After Almost 100 Years

After nearly a century, the rediscovery of a lost Gustav Klimt painting has stirred excitement in the art world. Gustav Klimt, a prominent figure in the Vienna Secessionist movement, left an indelible mark on European art during a tumultuous period. The recently found painting believed to be of Fraulein Lieser from a wealthy Austrian Jewish family, had been last seen by the public in 1926. However, the horrors of World War II and the Nazi looting sprees had led experts to assume that the artwork had been lost forever. The unexpected reappearance of the painting has not only defied expectations but has also sparked interest in its history and potential restitution claims.

The circumstances surrounding the rediscovery are intriguing, with the painting’s existence not documented in any catalog raisonnés. The Kinsky Auction House, where the painting is set to be auctioned, actively researched the Lieser family as potential restitution claimants and contacted representatives. The painting’s reappearance has opened a new chapter in art restitution efforts, challenging previous assumptions about its fate during the wartime upheavals. The anticipation surrounding the auction in April, with an estimated price of $54 million, underscores the enduring impact and popularity of Klimt’s work, as evidenced by recent record-breaking sales in the European art market. The potential profitability for both the present owners, who acquired the painting in the 1960s, and the Lieser family adds another layer of complexity and intrigue to this rediscovery.

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