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Back View of a Reclining Female Semi-Nude with Closed Eyes. Study for The Bride, c. 1917

Leopold Museum,
Pencil on Japanese paper
57×37.4 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
There are over 100 extant study sheets to accompany the painting The Bride which Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was working on in 1917/18 but was unable to finish. The artist’s sketchbook from 1917 contains a further 40 preliminary drawings. Six studies for this work are kept today at the Leopold Museum. The figure in the present rendering, which assumes a curiously fragile, cowering position, can be linked to the semi-nude from behind in the lower left part of the executed painting. Klimt created a large number of studies for this prominently placed figure which represent all the variants of the type known as Venus Callipyge. Alice Strobl conjectured that Klimt derived this figure’s posture not only from reclining nudes but possibly also from figures standing on one leg or hurrying forward. The impression of a spontaneous sketch is enhanced by Klimt’s handwritten designation “slightly larger” which evidently refers to a correction in size in the area of the woman’s bottom.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Back View of a Reclining Female Semi-Nude with Closed Eyes. Study for The Bride
c. 1917
Art movement
Symbolism, Art Nouveau
Graphic work
Pencil on Japanese paper
57×37.4 cm
Stamp (faded) lower left: GUSTAV KLIMT NACHLASS; designated lower left using pencil: etwas größer [slightly larger]; designated lower right: H
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1306
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Gustav Klimt. Die Sammlung im Leopold Museum, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Elisabeth Leopold, Ostfildern 2013 (Bestandskatalog des Leopold Museum: Band 1).
  • Alice Strobl: Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1904-1912, Salzburg 1982.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 2/1982: 3014

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918); (1)
Charles de Burlet, Basel (bis 1956);
Galerie Kornfeld, Bern und Christian Nebehay, Wien (1956-1960);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1960-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Nachlass-Stempel »GUSTAV / KLIMT / NACHLASS« auf der Vorderseite links unten
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Gustav Klimt. Liegender weiblicher Halbakt in Rückenansicht mit geschlossenen Augen. Studie zu „Die Braut“, um 1917. Dossier vom 31.01.2017; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Katalog zu: Gustav Klimt. 1862-1918. Zeichnungen, Gedächtnisausstellung 16. Oktober bis 16. Dezember 1962, Wien 1962, Nr. 169

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