GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)
GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)
GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)
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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM THE SERGE AND VALLY SABARSKY COLLECTION
GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)

Auf dem Bauch liegender Akt nach rechts

Details
GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918)
Auf dem Bauch liegender Akt nach rechts
with the Nachlass stamp (Lugt 1575; on the reverse)
blue pencil on simili-Japan paper
14 1/2 x 21 in. (36.7 x 53.2 cm.)
Drawn in 1910
Provenance
The artist's estate.
Acquired by the late owner, by 1982.
Literature
A. Strobl, Gustav Klimt, die Zeichnungen, vol. II, 1904-1912, Salzburg, 1982, no. 1967, p. 236 (illustrated).
S. Sabarsky (ed.), Gustav Klimt: Drawings, London, 1984, no. 55, p. 130 (illustrated inverted; titled 'Prone nude' and with incorrect medium).
Exhibited
Tokyo, Isetan Museum of Art, Gustav Klimt, January - February 1981, no. 61 (illustrated).
Rome, Pinacoteca Capitolina, Gustav Klimt: 100 disegni, July - October 1983, no. 55, p. 130 (illustrated inverted pl. 55); this exhibition later travelled to Milan, Palazzo della Permanente, January - February 1984; and Bolzano/Bozen, Castel Mareccio/Schloß Maretsch, March - May 1984.
Vienna, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Gustav Klimt, June - September 1984, no. 69, p. 71 (illustrated p. 123); this exhibition later travelled to Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, September - November 1984, no. 71, p. 158 (illustrated p. 95); Munich, Museum Villa Stuck, November 1984 - January 1985, no. 69; and Linz, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Wolfgang-Gurlitt-Museum, February - April 1985, no. 69.
Bottrop, Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat Bottrop, Gustav Klimt: 100 Zeichnungen, June - August 1985.
Florence, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Gustav Klimt: 100 disegni, January - April 1986, no. 53; this exhibition later travelled to Naples, Accademia di Belle Arti, April - June 1986; and Trento, Castello Ivano, June 1986.
Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Gustav Klimt, November 1986 - January 1987, no. 55, p. 131 (illustrated inverted pl. 55).
Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Gustav Klimt: 100 Zeichnungen, February - March 1987, no. 55, p. 14; this exhibition later travelled to Graz, Schloß Plankenwarth, July - August 1987; Halbturn, Schloß Halbturn, May - October 1988; and Rosenheim, Städtische Galerie Rosenheim, February - April 1989.
Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Gustav Klimt, September - December 1987, no. 89, p. 174 (illustrated p. 136).
New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Gustav Klimt, June - October 1989.
Frankfurt, Galerie Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst, Gustav Klimt: 100 Zeichnungen, October - November 1990 (possibly); this exhibition later travelled to Düren, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, January - March 1991 (possibly); Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, November 1991 - March 1992, no. 76; Tel Aviv, Museum of Art, April - May 1992; Kraków, Palacu Sztuki, June - July 1992; Villingen-Schwenningen, Städtische Galerie Lovis-Kabinett, July - September 1992; Charleston, Gibbes Museum of Art, May - June 1993; Passau, Museum moderner Kunst, June - August 1994; Paris, Musée-Galerie de la Seita, October - November 1994; and Prague, Císaiská konírna, May - July 1995.
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Gustav Klimt, September - December 1992, no. Z116, p. 298 (illustrated).
Seoul, Hangaram Art Museum, Gustav Klimt. In Search of the "Total Artwork", February - May 2009, no. 65, p. 233 (illustrated p. 129).
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Imogen Kerr
Imogen Kerr Vice President, Senior Specialist, Co-head of 20th Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay


Of his roughly four thousand surviving drawings devoted to the subject of women, Klimt’s representations of female sensuality are amongst the most remarkable of his drawing oeuvre, depicting an intimacy that could only be achieved through such a medium. His studio was infamous for its influx of lounging nude or semi-clothed models, always readily available to pose or be sketched in repose. Inspired by his friendship with Rodin, Klimt had the models move about his studio freely, observing their interactions before using quick sketches to capture poses or movements that appealed to him. This atmosphere of openness and spontaneity encouraged his models to explore themselves, and the result is an intimate treatment of female sexuality, unprecedented in its boldness.

Klimt was greatly inspired by erotic Japanese woodblock prints, yet these are not the sole inspiration for Auf dem Bauch liegender Akt nach rechts. Vienna at the turn of the century was characterised by a remarkably small, tight-knit circle of artists, writers, and scientists openly exchanging ideas. It was through these that Freud’s practice first came to Klimt’s attention, and he was very much taken with Freud’s theories on the mind and its unconscious process. Klimt fully embraced the subject of female sexuality, exploring themes of women’s drives and fantasies through his work. The female form allowed him to most fully convey complex and abstract ideas, and the medium allowed him to permeate his depictions with a quiet sensitivity to the full range of women’s sexuality.

The woman depicted in Auf dem Bauch liegender Akt nach rechts is teetering on the edge of sleep, carefully positioned horizontally across the paper to balance spatial order with the immediacy of Klimt’s observation of his model. The state between waking and dreaming was particularly fascinating to the artist, perhaps enthused by the opportunity to explore the sensual liberation that such a state provided. Sleep offered respite from the constraints of early 20th century societal expectations. In the transient state between sleep and waking, the unconscious breaks free, and drives and desires are permitted to roam without fear of repercussions.

This liberation extends to the artist’s free handling of the pencil, which glides across the sheet. Alternating between light and dynamic contours, Klimt emphasizes the characteristics of the model’s body and the lush fabric on which she is sprawled. The relationship between the sensual and the spiritual is further emphasized by the model’s starkly accentuated closed-eyed expression, which reads equally as peaceful slumber and rapt absorption in ecstasy, creating a poignantly poetic moment. The blue of the pencil serves to heighten the ethereal quality of the scene, and the sleeping nude seems on the cusp of floating away. Despite the erotic subject matter, Klimt manages to imbue the scene with a vulnerable innocence, the figure lost in her own dreamworld.

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