Gustav Klimt's Litzlberg am Attersee could set World Record price at Sotheby's

Sotheby's Evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art starts off the autumn season with several works from leading museums around the world with special highlights from Matisse and Gustav Klimt.

A group of Impressionist paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be offered alongside a sculpture by Max Ernst from the Menil Collection in Houston and exemplary modern pictures from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, including oils by Magritte, Chagall, Soutine and Pissarro.

A highlight of the sale will be Matisse's monumental Nu de Dos (1er état), the first incarnation of the artist's renowned series of four reliefs of the female back. Created at the culmination of the Fauve movement in 1908-09, this seminal sculpture became the springboard from which Matisse's aesthetic would continuously evolve.

Gustav Klimt Litzlberg am Attersee
Gustav Klimt's Litzlberg am Attersee
(Click to enlarge)

Sotheby's auction will boast an exceptional selection of Surrealist imagery, from Max Ernst's unique grattage and decalcomania paintings, through Delvaux's voluptuous nudes, to Magritte's and Dalí's wildly imaginative icons of the Surreal.

Collectors will be interested to know that an original nude sketch by Salvador Dali is available from our stock right now.

Of particular note is Picasso's L'Aubade, a monumental late oil of a lovers' serenade, and a spectacular landscape by Gustav Klimt which was previously in the collection of Viktor Zuckerkandel.

Offered at auction for the first time in history following its restitution by the Salzburg Moderne Museum, this brilliantly coloured oil depicts the verdant slopes of the Attersee, where the artist would often spend his summers during the early 1900s.

Klimt's dramatic view of the lush environs of Lake Attersee is among his most accomplished and celebrated landscapes. The sumptuous palette and the jewel-like surface evidence Klimt's poetic opulence at its most magnificent and evoke the decorative tendency displayed in earlier landscapes.

In Litzlberg am Attersee the scene rises like a vertical wall of natural splendour and man-made artifact.

Sotheby's is being coy about the estimate now, but naturally it will have one eye on beating the World Record price for a Klimt landscape it set itself in London: £26.9m ($43.2m) for Kirche in Casson in February 2010.

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