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Bust Portrait of a Lady in Profile from the Right with Closed Eyes. Study for The Virgin, 1911/12

Leopold Museum,
Pencil on Japanese paper
57.1×37.4 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Alice Strobl associated the central figure in Gustav Klimt’s (1862–1918) 1913 painting The Virgin with numerous individual studies of faces, among them the present drawing of a woman with closed eyes in profile. While the painting features no comparable profile depiction, similar physiognomies appear in further studies of reclining females for the same painting, for instance in the Leopold Museum’s drawing Reclining Female Semi-Nude with Raised Shirt from the Left, Above a Head Study. This work shows the small-scale study of a half profile, which was started by Klimt and subsequently crossed out, whose physiognomy is similar to the female profile in the present depiction. Klimt rendered the latter profile using short strokes, which he kept starting anew, and emphasized the receding character of the strict profile. A further comparable head study for the same figure in the painting The Virgin also forms part of the Leopold Museum’s collection. The present work on paper boasts a block signature, which suggests that Klimt possibly intended to sell the work.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Bust Portrait of a Lady in Profile from the Right with Closed Eyes. Study for The Virgin
Art movement
Symbolism, Art Nouveau
Graphic work
Pencil on Japanese paper
57.1×37.4 cm
Signed lower right using pencil: GUSTAV KLIMT
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1316
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 1912-1918, Salzburg 1984.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 3/1984: 2296

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Galerie Wolfgang Gurlitt, München (vor 1962); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1965-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (ab 1994).

  1. Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Katalog zu: Gustav Klimt. 1862-1918. Zeichnungen, Gedächtnisausstellung 16. Oktober bis 16. Dezember 1962, Wien 1962, Nr. 212
  2. Alice Strobl, Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen 1912-1918, Bd. 3, Salzburg 1984, S. 42, Nr. 2296

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