Portrait of a Lady (Klimt)

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Gustav Klimt 061.jpg

Portrait of a Lady is a 1916-17 oil on canvas painting by Gustav Klimt. The painting measures 60 by 55 centimetres (24 in × 22 in). It depicts a portrait of a female figure, composed in an unusually lively expressionistic style. It was acquired by the Galleria Ricci-Oddi in Piacenza in 1925.

In 1996, X-ray analysis revealed that the portrait was an overpainted version of Klimt's lost work Portrait of a Young Lady (in hat and with scarf[1]), which disappeared in 1917.[2] The original portrait showed a woman with whom Klimt is believed to have had a love affair, but after she died suddenly, he painted over the work.

The painting was believed stolen on February 22, 1997,[3] shortly before a special exhibition was planned at the gallery, during the renovation of the building.

Later the Italian police authorities discovered a high-quality forgery at Ventimiglia, on the Italian border with France, in April 1997, in a package addressed to the former Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi who was hiding from the law in Hammamet, Tunisia.[4] The "theft" in February may have been staged shortly before the exhibition, to cover up the swap of the original painting with the forgery some months before. Case was reopened in 2014 according to the new facts.[5] Various copies of painting are known to the Italian police.[6]



  1. ^ Paradiso, Max (2016-12-08). "The mystery of the stolen Klimt". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  2. ^ Marsala, Helga (2017-03-03). "Su 'Chi l'ha visto?' il quadro rubato di Klimt | Artribune". Artribune (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  3. ^ "Thief in 1997 Klimt Heist Claims Canvas to Be Returned | artnet News". artnet News. 2016-12-09. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  4. ^ "Un'opera tra mistero e leggenda: il Klimt contraffatto spedito a Craxi ad Hammamet". IlPiacenza. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  5. ^ Davies, Lizzy (2014-03-16). "Gustav Klimt theft case reopens in Italy 17 years on". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  6. ^ ""Ritratto di Signora" del Klimt: i carabinieri sequestrano la copia alla Ricci Oddi". IlPiacenza. Retrieved 2017-11-11.