Gustav Klimt Painting Sold for £85.3 Million

By Sophie Robinson

On June 27th, a record was broken at a Sotheby’s auction – when a painting called ‘Lady with a Fan’ by Gustav Klimt sold for £85.3 million. It was bought by Patti Wong, who was acting on behalf of an art collector from Hong-Kong. This selling price was way higher than anticipated, with the expected auction price being £65 million. 

‘Lady with a Fan’ was Klimt’s final painting which he completed before he died in 1918. Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter, predominantly famous for ‘The Kiss’, painted in 1908. He was also a prominent member of the Vienna Secession movement, an art movement made up of Austrian artists – which was closely associated with the Art Nouveau movement. He was a very famous and prestigious artist, inspired by Japanese and Chinese styles.

Prior to the record-breaking £85.3 million, the record for the most expensive painting sold at an auction was held by Alberto Giacometti, a Swiss sculptor and painter, who mainly worked in the cubic and surrealist styles of art, for his sculpture ‘Walking Man I’ which sold for £65 million.

‘Lady with a Fan’ was previously sold in 1994 for £9 million. It is clear that as the painting became older, the value increased (which is often the case for most art pieces and other items of history). This amount of money being paid for a piece of art can be argued as excessive, as some may believe that it could be better spent for those struggling to make ends meet. However, art collectors may argue that this was money well spent, as they are gaining a very famous piece of history.

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