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Reclining Woman (Study for the Beethoven Frieze)

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Center, towards bottom, crayon: G. K.


About 1903, given by the artist to Carl Reininghaus (b. 1857 - d. 1929), Vienna [see note 1]; about 1915, from Reininghaus to August Lederer (b. 1857 - d. 1936) and Serena Pulitzer Lederer (b. 1867 - d. 1943), Vienna [see note 2]; their son, Erich Lederer (b. 1896 - d. 1985), Geneva [see note 3]; 1963, sold by Erich Lederer to Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zurich; 1964, sold by Walter Feilchenfeldt to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 23, 1964) NOTES: [1] In 1903, the art collector Carl Reininghaus acquired Klimt's Beethoven Frieze (1902), installed in the Secession building, Vienna, as plans for its destruction were underway. To thank him for saving the frieze, Klimt gave Reininghaus over one hundred preparatory sketches including the present drawing, a study for one of the "floating figures" in the composition. The "R" inscribed in the lower left corner indicates its ownership by Reininghaus. See Alice Strobl, Gustav Klimt: Die Zeichnungen, vol. 1, 1878-1903 (Salzburg: Galerie Welz, 1980), 221 and Christian M. Nebehay, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele und die Familie Lederer (Bern: Galerie Kornfeld, 1987), 43. [2] The industrialist August Lederer and his wife Serena Pulitzer were among Klimt's most important patrons and owned a large collection of his work. When they purchased the Beethoven Frieze from Reininghaus in 1915, they acquired many of the preparatory drawings as well. See Strobl 1980 (as above, n. 1). [3] Following the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938, Serena Lederer fled to Hungary and was dispossessed of her art collection by the Nazi authorities. The collection was "safeguarded" and prevented from leaving the country. Among the works of art listed on a Nazi-generated inventory of the collection at the Lederer home at Bartensteingasse 8, Vienna (November 20, 1940) are hundreds of non-itemized drawings by Gustav Klimt, which may well include the present study. See Sophie Lillie, Was einmal war: Handbuch der enteigneten Kunstsammlungen Wiens (Vienna, 2003), 657-671. In the 1940s, parts of the Lederer collection were removed to the abandoned salt mines at Alt Aussee for storage, where they were later recovered by Allied forces and restituted to Erich Lederer. It is possible that this drawing was among these items. It was certainly with Lederer in 1963, when he sold it.

Credit Line

Mary L. Smith Fund

about 1901–02


Sheet: 31 x 44.1 cm (12 3/16 x 17 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Black chalk on light brown wove paper


Prints and Drawings