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Reclining Female Semi-Nude from the Left, Her Head Tilted Back. Study for Water Snakes II, 2nd Version, 1905/06

Leopold Museum,
Blue and red crayon on Japanese paper
35×55.2 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Despite the fact that this drawing was previously described as a study for the painting The Virgin, the depiction of a reclining female nude in profile clearly shows a link to the group of reclining female nudes Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) created in connection with the 1906/07 reworked version of his painting Water Snakes II. Six of these studies are owned today by the Leopold Museum Private Foundation. The type of reclining female figure and the distinctive profile, above which Klimt added the handwritten annotation “head too large”, correspond almost entirely to one of the two reclining figures in a study for Water Snakes II kept today at the Albertina in Vienna. This helps to explain the unusual position of the nude in the Leopold Museum’s drawing – though she is reclining, one of the legs is tucked up, which conveys a sense of the figure floating in water. The work on paper is particularly special on account of Klimt’s use of blue crayon, which he replaced with red crayon only in the area of the woman’s lips. Along with this study, the Leopold Museum owns five further studies for the work Water Snakes II: Study for Water Snakes II, Study for Water Snakes II, Study for Water Snakes II, Study for Water Snakes II and Study for Water Snakes II.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Reclining Female Semi-Nude from the Left, Her Head Tilted Back. Study for Water Snakes II, 2nd Version
Art movement
Symbolism, Art Nouveau
Graphic work
Blue and red crayon on Japanese paper
35×55.2 cm
Designated upper center using blue crayon: Kopf zu groß [head too large]
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1313
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Gustav Klimt. Jahrhundertkünstler, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger/Sandra Tretter, Wien 2018 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 22.06.2018–04.11.2018).
  • 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 1912-1918, Salzburg 1984.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 3/1984: 2255

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918);
Johanna Zimpel, geb. Klimt, Wien (ab 1918);
Gustav Zimpel, Wien (o.D.); (1)
Ferdinand Eckhardt sen., Wien (um 1920-1952);
Ferdinand Eckhardt jun., Winnipeg (1952-1987); (2)
Galerie C. G. Börner, Düsseldorf (1987); (3)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1987-1994); (4)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Nachlassbestätigung Gustav Zimpel auf der Blattrückseite
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Dossier zu drei Zeichnungen von Gustav Klimt, 31.01.2017, S. 9-13
  3. C. G. Boerner, Gustav Klimt 1862 – Wien – 1918. Zeichnungen aus Privatbesitz, Düsseldorf 1987, Nr. 41
  4. Rupertinum Salzburg, Gustav Klimt. Die Bilder und Zeichnungen der Sammlung Leopold, Salzburg 1990.

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