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Standing Naked Couple, Embracing. Study for This Kiss to the Whole World from the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession, 1901

Leopold Museum,
Black chalk on brown paper
44.9×31.8 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In the summer of 1901, Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) executed a large number of studies for the Beethoven Frieze within a short period of time. Klimt created this wall frieze for the famous Beethoven Exhibition held at the Vienna Secession from April to July 1902. This drawing is one of around ten known studies for the last scene of Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze which directly refers to the final chorus in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 This Kiss to the Whole World, set to music to Schiller’s Ode to Joy. While the female figure in the study only wraps one arm around the male, she envelopes him with both arms in the final version, investing the group with a more pronounced horizontal finish at the top. Klimt transferred the drawing’s expressive, highly concentrated contours into the execution of the frieze. The front of the work on paper shows the initial “R”, an owner’s mark of the collector Carl Reininghaus. Reininghaus had bought the frieze together with numerous preliminary studies in 1907 and thus saved it from destruction.

A closer look

The artwork explained by
art expert Markus Hübl

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Standing Naked Couple, Embracing. Study for This Kiss to the Whole World from the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession
Art movement
Art Nouveau, Symbolism
Graphic work
Black chalk on brown paper
44.9×31.8 cm
Stamp (faded) lower right: GUSTAV KLIMT NACHLASS; designated lower right using pencil: R [Carl Reininghaus]
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1310
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Linie und Form. 100 Meisterzeichnungen aus der Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Franz Smola/Fritz Koreny, Wien 2014 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.05.2014–20.10.2014).
  • Gustav Klimt. Die Sammlung im Leopold Museum, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Elisabeth Leopold, Ostfildern 2013 (Bestandskatalog des Leopold Museum: Band 1).
  • Klimt persönlich. Bilder - Briefe - Einblicke, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Franz Smola, Wien 2012 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 24.02.2012–27.08.2012).
  • nackte männer. von 1800 bis heute, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter, München 2012 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 19.10.2012-28.01.2013).
  • Alice Strobl: Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1878-1903, Salzburg 1980.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 1/1980: 854

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Carl Reininghaus, Wien (1903-1915); (1)
August und Szeréna Lederer, Wien (1915-1936);
Szeréna Lederer, Wien später Budapest (1936-1943);

1938/39 Sicherstellung der Sammlung Lederer durch den Magistrat der Stadt Wien
1944 zum Schutz vor Luftangriffen in Altaussee gelagert
23.08.1946 Aufhebung der Sicherstellungsbescheide durch den Magistrat der Stadt Wien

Erich Lederer, Genf (ab 1946); (2)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1965-1994); (3)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Bleistiftvermerk auf dem Blatt rechts unten: »R[Carl Reininghaus]«; Christian M. Nebehay (Hg.), Gustav Klimt Dokumentation, Wien 1969, S. 291.
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Dossier zu zwei Zeichnungen von Gustav Klimt, 04.01.2016
  3. Alice Strobl, Gustav Klimt. Zeichnungen und Gemälde, Salzburg 1965 (2. Auflage), S. 97, Nr. 10
Decision of the Advisory Board (PDF)

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