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Gustav Klimt’s Lady with a Fan became the most expensive painting sold in Europe

Taken from SNOB/ 07. 08. 2023

In June 2023, the painting “Lady with a Fan” by Gustav Klimt was sold at Sotheby’s auction in London. The sale price was over 85.3 mln. This amounts to approximately £108 million. Dollars.
“Lady with a Fan” was written around 1918. It is the last portrait painted by Gustav Klimt to be found on an easel in his studio after the artist’s sudden death in 1918. The painting was then acquired by the Viennese industrialist Erwin Böhler. By the late 1960s, it belonged to Rudolf Leopold, the founder of the Leopold Museum. The last time “Lady with a Fan” was put up for sale was in 1994.
According to Sotheby’s, four clients competed for the canvas on the phone and in the hall. In the end, it went to someone who offered £20 million more for it than the auction house’s preliminary estimate.The artist Gustav Klimt is known for his portraits, allegorical paintings and mosaic works, as well as decorative works created for public buildings and museums. Klimt was also one of the founders of the Wiener Werkstätte, or Secession.

Previously, Klimt’s works sold even more expensively, including Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was purchased for $135 million. dollars and became a key exhibit of the new Ronald Lauder New Gallery. Also in 2006, another portrait of the same lady, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II”, was sold for $87.9 million. dollars, which was then sold to Oprah Winfrey for almost twice the price. It was the highest price of Klimt’s works at auction for a long time. The last record was set at the end of 2022, when the landscape “Birch Grove” was sold at Christie’s auction for 104.6 million. Dollars.
“Lady with a Fan” became the most expensive piece ever sold at auction in Europe, surpassing a recent record.

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