'Intimate' Klimt sketches valued at $134,000 at Bonhams

Bonhams has announced that its Impressionist and Modern Art auction is to be highlighted by three "intimate" sketches from Gustav Klimt.

The sale, which will be held on October 30 in London, will see the three influential sketches sell with a combined estimate of £83,000 ($134,000). The auction house expects sales to be boosted by 2012 being "Gustav Klimt year", the 150th anniversary of the artist's birthday.

Gustav Klimt sketch Bonhams auction
The sparse £50,000-estimated sketch stands in constrast to Klimt's usual portrayal of women

All three pieces originate from the Goldberg Collection, which includes iconic artworks that have not appeared in public since 1982. Each sketch demonstrates Klimt's mastery of the female form, with his Reclining female nude with sleeping child in swaddling clothes leading at £30,000-50,000 ($48,000-81,000).

Created circa 1904-1908, the sparse drawing is executed in crayon, which was Klimt's preferred sketching medium prior to 1906. Contrary to Klimt's other sketches of women, who were usually presented as sexually provocative characters, the piece portrays the mother as protective of her child.

Gustav Klimt Henneberg sketch auction
Klimt produced a number of sketches of prominent women in Viennese society

Following this will be Standing lady from the front, with a slight twist to the left (Marie Henneberg). Estimated to sell for £12,000-18,000 ($16,000-24,000), the work is a study for Klimt's Das Bildnis Marie Henneberg, a beautiful depiction of the wife of Hugo Henneberg, a Viennese artist and photographer.

Standing nude in profile to the left, the third Klimt offering of the sale, was originally part of a series of studies which the artist created for Die Freundinnen, an oil painting depicting two women that, according to Bonhams, "celebrates lesbian love". It is expected to sell for £10,000-15,000 ($16,000-24,000).

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