This painting by Gustav Klimt titled 'Litzlberg on the Attersee' is expected to sell for RM 80 million or thereabouts in New York on 2 November at Sotheby's showroom.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY A PAINTING TO FILL THAT GAPING EMPTINESS ON YOUR WALL AND YOU DON'T LIVE IN A 100-ROOM MANSION, YOU MIGHT AS WELL SETTLE FOR ONE MAGNIFICENT PAINTING THAT IS BOUND TO APPRECIATE IN VALUE OVER THE YEARS, PROVIDED THE WORLD DOES NOT END ON 21 DECEMBER 2012 WHICH WILL BE SUCH A BUMMER BUT THEN, YOU CAN EXHIBIT THE PAINTING IN HEAVEN, PROVIDED BOTH WILL END IN THE SAME VENUE.
BUT I DIGRESS...
A MASTERPIECE LIKE 'LITZLBERG ON THE ATTERSEE' SO SELDOM COMES INTO THE OPEN MARKET THAT ITS APPEARANCE IS A CAUSE TO CELEBRATE. MORE SO WHEN THE NAZIS TOOK IT AS SPOILS OF WAR DURING WORLD WAR 2 AND WHEN IT WAS TO BE RETURNED, ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER WAS LONG DEAD AND IT WAS UP TO THE GREAT NEPHEW TO CLAIM IT BY REVEALING EXACTLY WHERE IT USED TO HANG WHEN HE LIVED WITH VIKTOR! LUCKILY HE HAS A GOOD MEMORY OR ELSE THE PAINTING MIGHT HAVE GONE SOMEWHERE ELSE BUT THEN AGAIN, HE WAS THE BLOOD RELATIVE SO HE HAD A BETTER CLAIM THAN ME, LET'S SAY.
LATE LAST WEEK IN JULY 2011, THE MUSEUM DER MODERNE IN SALZBURG FINALLY RETURNED THE PAINTING TO GEORGES JORISCH, THE GREAT NEPHEW OF VIKTOR ZUCKERKANDL! HE HAS WISELY DESPATCHED THE PRECIOUS PAINTING TO SOTHEBY'S TO BE AUCTIONED RATHER THAN HANG IN HIS OWN PARLOUR! EARLIER HE WAS ALSO GIVEN ANOTHER PAINTING 'KIRCHE CASSONE' WHICH BROKE A RECORD WHEN IT WAS AUCTIONED LAST YEAR FOR US $ 26.4 MILLION! SO THIS PAINTING IS EXPECTED TO FETCH A SIMILAR PRICE. IT NEVER RAINS BUT POURS! WHEN BAD LUCK COMES, NOTHING GOES RIGHT AND VICE VERSA!
GUSTAV KLIMT IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST REVERED ARTISTS AND MOST OF HIS WORKS ARE NOW IN MUSEUMS, BEYOND THE REACH OF MERE MORTALS. MIND YOU, AS IT IS EXPECTED TO FETCH AROUND RM 80 MILLION, THIS PIECE OF PAINTED CANVAS IS ALSO BEYOND THE REACH OF MERE MORTALS.
'LITZLBERG ON THE ATTERSEE' WILL BE AUCTIONED BY CHRISTIE'S IN NEW YORK CITY ON 2 NOVEMBER 2011 SO THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME TO PLAY THE MARKETS RECKLESSLY AND ACCUMULATE THIS WAR CHEST.
Sotheby’s to Offer a Masterpiece by Gustav Klimt from the Famed Collection of the Late Viktor and Paula Zuckerkandl
LITZLBERG AM ATTERSEE TO HIGHLIGHT THE
IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART EVENING SALE ON 2 NOVEMBER 2011
Painting will be exhibited in Hong Kong and London prior to the November auction
Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 2 November 2011 in New York will be led by one of the most accomplished and celebrated landscapes created by Gustav Klimt. Litzlberg am Attersee (Litzlberg on the Attersee) is a dramatic view of the lush environs of Lake Attersee in western Austria, painted with Klimt’s sumptuous palette and jewel-like surface. The painting, which is estimated in excess of $25 million, follows the sale of Kirche in Cassone (Landschaft mit Zypressen) (Church in Cassone – Landscape with Cypresses), which set an auction record for a landscape by the artist when it achieved £26.9 million ($43.2 million) at Sotheby’s London in February 2010 (est. £12/18 million).
Both paintings, which were originally in the famed collection of Austrian iron magnate Viktor Zuckerkandl and his wife Paula, were stolen after the annexation of Austria in 1938. Viktor and his wife and siblings were the cenntre of Viennese high society in his lifetime and he was a major patron of the arts. He purchased this painting directly from the artst Gustav Klimt himself and this far sightedness gave him an incomparable advantage in amassing one of the greatest early collections of Klimt's works.
The couple died in 1927 without children and some of the works were sold and the remainder remained with his family. 'Litzlberg on the Attersee' entered the collection of his sister Amalie Redlich who with her daughter Mathilde were Jews and were deported to Lodz in 1941 and never heard of again. Mathilde's collection was seized by the Gestapo and sold. In 1947 Redlich's son in law returned but could not find any pictures.
Finally, it was Georges Jorisch the grandson of Amalie Redlich who was able to recall where exactly the painting was displayed in Viktor's mansion---on either side of a bay window with another painting 'Kirche de Cassone'. Jorisch had lived in Purkersdorf Sanatorium where he lived until he left Vienna aged 10.
Even so, it took years of detective work by leading Viennese researcher Ruth Pleyer and Dr Alfred Noll years of intensive archival research to establish Jorisch's childhood memory was correct and 'Litzlberg on the Attersee' was one of the paintings stolen by the Nazis from his family home.
The painting was never lost as it was held in several Slazburg's museums since 1944. Both have since been restituted to Georges Jorisch, great-nephew of Viktor, after intensive research revealed that his memory of the works hanging in the family’s home in Purkersdorf was correct. Litzlberg am Attersee was returned to Mr. Jorisch late last week from the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale will be donated to that museum for the building of a new extension. The canvas will be exhibited in Hong Kong and London prior to its sale in New York.