Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Fraulein Lieser, painted in 1917, went missing a few years later and was assumed lost then and probably destroyed during World War II. It has finally surfaced in Vienna after a century of speculation. The current owner’s family has possesed it since the 1960s and it’s said to be worth $54 million. It is to be auctioned, with the proceeds split between them and the Liesers.
This is based on the Washington Principles, an international agreement to return Nazi-looted art to the descendants of the people they were taken from. Before the auction, the painting will be presented at various international locations including the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Hong Kong, the auction house said. The portrait once belonged to the Lieser family, who were wealthy Jewish industrialists in Vienna. Ernst Ploil, co-Managing Director of Kinsky Auction House, said they had so far found no evidence that the work had been looted or stolen before or during World War Two.
Klimt is in right now: his final portrait, “Lady with a fan,” sold for about $100m last summer at Sothebys. No matter where you search, it’s always in the last place you look.
Previously: The “lost” Leonardo da Vinci painting has been found hanging in a yacht.