Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918) Liegender Frauenakt mit schlafendem Kind im Steckkissen
Lot 45*
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918) Liegender Frauenakt mit schlafendem Kind im Steckkissen
Sold for £25,000 (US$ 39,393) inc. premium

Lot Details
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918)
Liegender Frauenakt mit schlafendem Kind im Steckkissen
blue and red crayon on paper
35 x 55.2cm (13 3/4 x 21 3/4in).
Executed circa 1904-1908

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Hermine Klimt, the artist's sister, Vienna (with her inscription 'Nachlass meines Bruders Gustav./Hermine Klimt', upper left).
    Otto Brill, Vienna (Lugt 2005a).
    Anon. sale, Sotheby's, London, 31 March 1982, lot 166a.
    Purchased from the above by the present owner.

    LITERATURE
    A. Strobl, Gustav Klimt, Die Zeichnungen 1904-1912, vol.II, Salzburg, 1982, no.1782 (illustrated p.177).

    Gustav Klimt drew prolifically from the beginning of his career and would alternate between his left and right hand, sketching for several hours a day.

    The landscapes, architecture and interiors explored in Klimt's paintings were largely ignored in his drawings, which focussed almost entirely on the female form. Besides the named portraits of society women, there are numerous studies of anonymous models. They were typically sketched nude or half-dressed and presented in highly provocative poses, apparently for the enjoyment of the male viewer: 'the pencil or crayon line with which they are described explores and caresses as though the art of drawing was itself part of the process of foreplay and intercourse. These women are exclusively sexual objects.' (F. Whitford, Klimt, London, 1990, p.161).

    Klimt drew several sketches of pregnant women, couples cradling their child and even a father alone with his baby, but the theme of family is nonetheless comparatively rare in his oeuvre and can be dated to the years 1904-1908. Klimt's own attitude towards the family unit was unconventional: his lifelong companion was the sister of his brother's widow, Emilie Flöge, but they never married and he was known to have had affairs with several of his models. After his death in 1918, no fewer than fourteen children came forward to claim legitimacy.

    Drawn in the crayon Klimt favoured prior to 1906, the artist delineates the sitter in the present work with elegant and deft lines, capturing her with the barest of details: 'Klimt frequently isolated his models by drawing only their outlines and then enhancing this isolation by omitting any internal modelling of their bodies' (G. Fliedl, Gustav Klimt 1862-1918, The World in Female Form, Cologne, 1997, p.193).

    However, this model is not the anonymous object presented in so many of Klimt's sketches – she gains an identity through motherhood: the stare which may have initially been read as sexual or provocative now transforms to that of a protective challenge. By presenting us with an uncommon image of motherhood, the artist according to Frank Whitford is nonetheless demonstrating an unease typical to the men of his time: 'in the art and literature of the period, the common, contrasting images of the female as 'woman' and 'lady', 'whore' and 'mother', unwittingly betray an unease and fear in the face of a growing challenge to conventional definitions of gender.' (F. Whitford, Klimt, London, 1990, p.169).
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Ruth Woodbridge
    Specialist - Impressionist and Modern Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5816
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7434
Similar Items