One of the Greatest Works by Gustav Klimt Ever to Appear at Auction

Sunday, February 12, 2017
One of the Greatest Works by Gustav Klimt Ever to Appear at Auction

One of Gustav Klimt’s finest landscapes, Bauerngarten was first exhibited in the landmark 1908 Kunstschau in Vienna

One of the Greatest Works by Gustav Klimt Ever to Appear at Auction

Among the finest works by Gustav Klimt ever to come to auction, Bauerngarten was painted during the golden years of Klimt’s career and was a highlight of the critically acclaimed Painting the Modern Garden exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year. This profoundly beautiful work is to be offered at auction for the first time in over two decades, set to lead Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London on 1 March 2017. 

While Klimt is largely revered for his opulent, symbol-laden portraits of the Viennese bourgeoisie, these works were just one aspect of his artistic expression. It is, arguably, in his landscapes, that he found the freedom to express himself, and to experiment, more freely. His landscapes, therefore, not only represent an important and highly personal facet of his career, but are also critical to our appreciation of the artist. 

One of Gustav Klimt’s finest landscapes, Bauerngarten was first exhibited in the landmark 1908 Kunstschau in Vienna; a pivotal moment for Klimt – who had not had a public showing of his work for three years – the exhibition caused a sensation and confirmed the status of Klimt as the leading modern artist of his time. Even then the luminous painting was considered important, acquired just two years after by the National Gallery in Prague. 

Landscapes are integral to Klimt’s oeuvre, revealing a more personal and experimental side to his painting that differs from his portraits, which were, for the most part, commissions. At the same time, even in his landscapes, there is often an echo of a figure – here, the shape of a woman is almost tangible under the triangular composition of blazing colours of the flowers. Indeed, Bauerngarten was painted at the same moment as some of Klimt’s most celebrated and innovative figurative works, including his golden portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and the gilded Der Küss

 Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten (Blumengarten), oil on canvas, painted in 1907 (Estimate upon request). Courtesy Sotheby's

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Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995.  Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans, Flemish Village 1995. Collection MuHKA, Antwerp

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