344
344
Gustav Klimt
ZURÜCKGELEHNT LIEGENDER FRAUENAKT NACH LINKS (RECLINING NUDE TURNED TO THE LEFT)
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
344
Gustav Klimt
ZURÜCKGELEHNT LIEGENDER FRAUENAKT NACH LINKS (RECLINING NUDE TURNED TO THE LEFT)
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London

Gustav Klimt
1862 - 1918
ZURÜCKGELEHNT LIEGENDER FRAUENAKT NACH LINKS (RECLINING NUDE TURNED TO THE LEFT)
stamped with the Nachlass stamp (lower right)
red chalk on paper
30.8 by 44.7cm., 12 1/8 by 17 5/8 in.
Executed in 1903.
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Provenance

Rudolf Staechelin Collection, Basel
Galerie Würthle, Vienna
Private Collection, United Kingdom (acquired from the above circa 1975-80)
Sale: Bonhams, London, 22nd June 2017, lot 21
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele - Zum Gedächtnis ihres Todes vor 50 Jahren, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, 1968, no. 44 (titled Liegender weiblicher Akt mit angezogenen Schenkeln)
Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Internationale der Zeichnung: Sonderausstellung Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, 1970, no. 62 (titled Liegender weiblicher Akt nach rechts, mit angezogenen Schenkeln)
Lucerne, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Kunst in Österreich, 1900-1930, 1974, no. 75 (titled Studie zur 'Danae')
Vienna, Galerie Würthle, Gustav Klimt Zeichnungen, 1978, no. 17
Klagenfurt, Galerie im Stadthaus; Graz, Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz; Salzburg, Museumspavillon im Mirabellgarten; and Linz, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Klimt-Austellungen, 1978, n.n.
Vienna, Galerie Würthle, Wiener Jugendstil aus Privatbesitz, 1983, n.n.
Zurich, M. Knoedler AG, Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918, Egon Schiele 1890 - 1918, James Ensor 1860 - 1949, Alfred Kubin 1877 - 1959. Künstler der Jahrhundertwende, 1983, no. 2
Tokyo, Tokyu Art Gallery, Gustav Klimt und Egon Schiele mit Werken von Alfred Kubin. Künstler der Jahrhundertwende, 1985, n.n. (& travelling in Japan)

Literature

Arnold Krieger, Du in der Welt. Gesammelte Liebesgedichte mit 20 Zeichnungen von Gustav Klimt, Darmstadt, 1974, illustrated p. 139
Alice Strobl, Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1878 - 1903, Salzburg, 1980, vol. I, no. 1015, illustrated p. 291

Catalogue Note

The present work is one of the most closely related studies for Gustav Klimt’s painting, Danaë, a seminal work for the artist which was executed in 1907 (fig. 1). Displaying Klimt’s mastery of rendering interesting poses, this intimate drawing of 1903 reflects the same pose as Danaë, unlike his other sketches for the painting. The woman has her head and arms tightly tucked into her chest and her thigh is raised high, providing a seductive focal point for the viewer. Klimt employs delicate meandering lines to tenderly depict the form of his slumbering model.

The figure of Danaë was the last subject that Klimt would draw from Greek mythology. In the painting, it depicts the moment of Danaë’s impregnation by Zeus, represented by a shower of golden rain that falls from above to between the figure’s legs. According to the myth, the King of the Gods took pity on the princess after her father, the King of Argos, had decided to intern his daughter upon hearing a prophecy that his death would be at the hands of a grandson. Presenting the model unabashedly naked, Klimt infuses the painting with a tangible, almost shocking sensuality. While Danaë was a popular subject during the early 1900s as a symbol for divine love and transcendence, Klimt exploited the opportunity of representing a literary character by pushing the boundaries of sexual representation, while seemingly retaining its acceptability for the Viennese bourgeoisie. In his painting, the undulating contours of her body serve to emphasise the sensual lines of her buttock, thigh and breast, while the clenched hand belies her apparent repose and reveals a moment of arousal, heightened by her slightly parted lips.

In Zurückgelehnt liegender Frauenakt nach links, the sexual charge is more muted and it instead reveals the momentary transience of the woman’s slumbered state. The hand is closed, rather than clenched and the model’s expression appears relaxed as if she is falling asleep.  This work remains an essential study for one of the most important oils within Klimt’s oeuvre; it heralds the artist’s command over the fluidity of line and offers a tantalising insight into the interior of his studio.

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