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Klimt’s Lady With a Fan Was Sold For CZK 2.35 Billion.

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Gustav Klimt’s renowned painting, “Lady with a Fan” (Dame mit Fächer), has set a remarkable record as the most expensive artwork ever sold at a European auction. The fortunate new owner will be paying a staggering £85.3 million (equivalent to CZK 2.35 billion) to acquire this masterpiece. The portrait, created in 1918, took center stage at Sotheby’s auction today, initially offered with a starting price of £58 million. However, a captivating battle between bidders ensued, ultimately driving the hammer price up to £74 million, in addition to the auction mark-up.

“Lady with a Fan” is heavily influenced by Japanese art aesthetics and stands as Klimt’s final completed portrait. The painting depicts an unknown woman and was positioned on an easel in the artist’s studio when he tragically passed away at the age of 55 due to an unexpected stroke and subsequent pneumonia in 1918.

Originally acquired by a private owner in 1994 for $11.6 million (equivalent to CZK 251 million), this square-format canvas has experienced a remarkable appreciation in value over the course of three decades, nearly multiplying its price tenfold.

Klimt’s artworks have long been highly sought after in the art market. Last year, his canvas titled “Birch Forest” fetched a staggering $104.5 million (equivalent to CZK 2.3 billion) at an auction in New York. Notably, the artist’s famous painting “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) was sold for a remarkable $135 million (equivalent to CZK 2.9 billion) back in 2006.

Prior to this historic sale, the record for the most expensive artwork sold at a European auction was held by Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture, “The Walking Man I,” which achieved a price of £65 million (equivalent to CZK 1.79 billion) in London in 2010. Additionally, the title for the most expensive painting sold at a European auction was previously held by Belgian surrealist René Magritte’s canvas, “L’empire des lumi?res” (Empire of Light), which fetched a remarkable £59.4 million (equivalent to CZK 1.64 billion) last year.

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