A previously-unknown drawing attributed to the Gustav Klimt has been discovered by a San Francisco gallery that was stunned to discover it had unknowingly bought the rare work.
Lost Art Salon is a San Francisco-based gallery that specialises in the rediscovery of historically significant works of fine art, artists and collections reflecting the major movements of the Modern Era. The gallery offers over 5,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and objects from the late 19th Century through the present, which is on display to the public – with a strong emphasis on 20th Century Modernism.
The drawings portray a close resemblance to Klimt’s Portrait of Sonja Knips (1898), the artist’s first of several commissioned portraits of wealthy Viennese women, seated on one side, which bears on the reverse depicts a reclining female nude, which corresponds to the artist’s Fischblut drawing.
The Salon had bought a trove of unidentified works on paper at a Bay Area auction earlyin 2014. But during the research process, gallery staff discovered a series of drawings signed by Johannes and Maria Fischer, who were close friends of Egon Schiele. This particular clue led the researchers to believe that other pieces could be associated with other Viennese Secessionists.
After lengthy study of the hoard, the gallery’s specialists identified a double-sided drawing, bearing the signature of Gustav Klimt’s sister Hermine. Klimt’s sister is known to have signed several works the artist left behind following his death in 1918. With this particular fact verified, the drawing was subsequently certified as an genuine Klimt by experts at Vienna’s Albertina Museum.
The exact provenance of the portfolio has yet to be determined by the researchers at the Lost Art Salon. The singular fact thus far discerned is that the drawings belonged to a deceased Austrian immigrant who settled in the Bay Area. This exiting find and a selection of other works from the portfolio will be exhibited at Time Capsule: A Lost Klimt and Other Viennese Treasures which opens at the Lost Art Salon on February 14.