Missing Klimt Portrait Could Sell for $54 Million

Gustav Klimt’s long-lost painting, the “Portrait of Fräulein Lieser,” is set to be auctioned this spring and is anticipated to reach a value of up to $54 million. The artwork, presumed to be one of Klimt’s final pieces, had been missing for almost a century but was privately owned by an Austrian citizen.

The Vienna auction house im Kinsky (no, that is not a typo) which made the rediscovery, stated that the painting is expected to generate significant interest in the art world. The vivid and colorful piece, previously only seen in black and white photos, depicts a member of a wealthy Austrian Jewish family from the upper echelons of Viennese society.

While catalogues initially indicated that Adolf Lieser commissioned Klimt to paint his daughter, Margarethe Constance, recent research suggests that Lilly Lieser, the wife of Justus Lieser (Adolf Lieser brother), may have hired the artist to paint one of their daughters.

The three-quarter portrait, featuring a young woman in a frontal pose against a red background, showcases Klimt’s late-period style with intense colors and loose brushstrokes. The artist passed away in February 1918, leaving the painting incomplete in his studio. It was then given to the Lieser family.

Klimt’s portraits of women are rarely offered at auctions, and the rarity, artistic significance, and value of the “Portrait of Fräulein Lieser” make it a notable addition to the art market. The painting will tour internationally before the April 24 auction, making stops in Switzerland, Germany, Britain, and Hong Kong.

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