Klimt’s Last Portrait Sold for $100 Million
“Lady with a fan” was sold on Tuesday evening at Sotheby’s in London: it is the second most expensive portrait ever as well as the highest price ever reached in a European auction.
The evening was one of those that promised great scene failures, that of Tuesday in London’s Bond Street.
In fact, the Modern and Contemporary Evening Auction at the Sotheby’s headquarters presents a lot with masterpieces by artists such as Lucian Freud, Cy Twombly, Magritte, Giacometti and, precisely, Klimt, with the flagship piece.
“LADY WITH A FUN”, A TOUCHING STORY
The work had been found in the easel of the artist’s studio, just completed before his death from the Spanish flu in 1918 in Vienna. The subject is unknown to date, but the study of color and the composition of the painting testify to all the greatness of one of the most influential artists of the early twentieth century at the peak of his research. The work has reappeared on the market after more than 30 years.
THE RECORD PRICE
The work was auctioned for over 100 million dollars, after a battle of bids between 4 collectors that lasted more than 10 minutes. We don’t know much about the buyer, but what is certain is that it is the record for the most expensive work ever sold in Europe.
But Klimt did even better in America: his portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II sold at a New York auction in 2006 for $87.9 million, and his landscape Birch Forest at Christie’s in New York last year for 104.6 million dollars.
Additionally, two other portraits of him are thought to have privately sold for more than $100 million.