Gustav Klimt, Lady with a Muff (1916–17) Gustav Klimt, Lady with a Muff (1916–17)


The re-appearance of a long lost masterpiece is rare. The painting, which depicts a coquettish lady of fair complexion obscuring part of her face with a large black muff, was last displayed in Vienna in 1926 and has been part of a private Czech collection since the 1930s. The anonymous owner of the collection recently came forward and offered to loan the piece to the National Gallery Museum in Prag indefinitely.

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter, mostly depicting the female body with erotic undertones and one of the most celebrated artists from the Art Deco period. The painting's brightly colored, swirling background of reds, pinks and greens with several abstracted faces peering at the subject comes is clearly influenced by Asian Art, of which Klimt was an avid collector.

"The NG has achieved something that can be called an art history dream," Helena Musilová, director of the National Gallery's modern and contemporary art collection, told the Prague Post. "We are often addressed by the people claiming that they have certainly an original painting, but this is often not proven," she said.

See more Gustav Klimt on Barnebys here.