Description & Technical information

Gustav Klimt, is a 19th century Austrian painter internationally renowed for his symbolist paintings, gaining him fame which has continued to sustain his reputation into the contemporary day. Due to his level of impecable skill in both the execution of his work and his ability to fabricte a narrative within his compositions, he became a highly prominent member of the Vienna Secesssion movement. Klimt is known for his murals, sketches and other objects d’art. His primary focus was on the female body resulting in his paintings being marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to these works Klimt also worked on landscapes and took inspiration from japanese art and its methods.

This exquisite drawing is one of the most outstanding examples from the celebrated group of classic-sized sheets of drawings made by Klimt at the end of the first decade of the 20th century, his Golden Phase. Its striking quality lies in the rare surety and restraint of its line, the elegant balance, and sparsity of its composition, and the singular tenderness of its erotic subject matter.

The provenance of the work is also of an especial calibre. As one of the works forming the artist's estate on his death in 1918, this drawing is stamped and inscribed ‘Nachlass meines Bruders Hermine Klimt’, as coming into the possession of the artist's sister Hermine Klimt. Since that time it has changed hands remarkably little, being handled by the prestigious Galerie Kornfeld in Bern, and entering a private collection in Paris. The drawing is presented in a highly impressive contemporary Secession frame, itself an artwork of considerable consequence, and a rare and historically apposite context for this significant drawing.

Date:  c. 1909
Period:  20th century
Origin:  Austria
Medium: Graphite on paper
Signature: Stamped and inscribed lower right from the Estate of Gustave Klimt: 'Nachlass meines Bruders Hermeine Klimt'

Dimensions: 55 x 34.9 cm (21⁵/₈ x 13³/₄ inches)

The Estate of Gustav Klimt

Galere Kornfield, Bern

Private collection

Dorotheum Auction house on 26th November, 2003, ‘Freudinnen’ dated 1909, lot. 00011

Private collection


The drawing is to be included in the addendum to the 5th volume of the catalogue raissone by Dr. Bisanz-Prakken.

R. Metzger ‘Gustav Klimt, Drawings and Watercolours’, Verlag Christian Brandstatter, Vienna, 2005 (reproduced on page 283)

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints