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Posthumous picture of Gustav Klimt's beloved little sister for sale at London Art Week
Art historians believe that the drawing of a young girl, referred to as ‘Annerl’, is of Klimt’s little sister, Anna, who had died 10 years previously.

LONDON.- A drawing by Gustav Klimt is to be sold at London Art Week in June. Art historians believe that the drawing of a young girl, referred to as ‘Annerl’, is of Klimt’s little sister, Anna, who had died 10 years previously. The drawing is believed to have been drawn after a photograph and is the main drawing used for the motif of the young girl in “Dance” in the ceiling painting of the auditorium of the Municipal Theatre in Karlsbad (Karoly Vary). The drawing will be on display revealing a portion of Anna’s torso, which has been covered up since the 1940s.

Klimt’s early family life was fraught with poverty and his family was touched by death and mental illness. The Klimt family consisted of Gustav, his parents, four sisters and two younger brothers, and they lived in Baumgarten, a deprived area on the outskirts of Vienna. In 1873 an economic crisis brought on by the crash of the Viennese stock market sent the family even further into poverty, and was followed a year later by the death of his sister, Anna, who was five years old at the time. The death of Anna caused Gustav’s mother to have a nervous breakdown. “Klara, his eldest sister, was also depressive, and Klimt (who never married) was to spend his entire life in the company of these slightly neurotic women: his mother and two unwed sisters. . .” (Kallir 7)

The influence of his family life at such a young age is highly speculative, but it can be assumed that such surroundings had an affect on his art throughout his life. Perhaps his experience of living with all women in the house is a contributing factor to Klimt’s choice to paint only female figures for the most part (Joshua Watts, 2012).

Emanuel von Baeyer, who will be selling the drawing, will display the work in its entirety for the first time ever. The uncovered panel below the now well-know image reveals a portion of Anna’s torso, which has been covered up since the 1940s.

London Art Week is an exciting joint venture that unites Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings and Sculpture Week (formerly Master Drawings London). During this year’s inaugural London Art Week, which takes place from 28th June – 5th July 2013, some of the world’s foremost paintings, drawings and sculpture specialists are displaying a diverse range of works from the 1st century BC to the 20th century. By joining together to hold a series of coordinated exhibitions in galleries in St. James and Mayfair, exhibiting fine art dealers are giving collectors, both private and institutional, the opportunity to view of some of the finest works available on the market.

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