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Female Semi-Nude Lying on Her Front from the Right. Study for Water Snakes II, 1st Version, 1904

Leopold Museum,
Pencil on Japanese paper
34.9×55 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
While working on his portrait-format painting Water Snakes I, Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) created a second rendering of the same theme in a horizontal format from 1904. The artist presented the first version of the resulting work Water Snakes II at the 20th Secession Exhibition, shown from March to April 1904, before reworking the painting in 1906/07. While there are no extant reproductions of the painting’s first version, numerous drawings of reclining female nudes – created either as direct studies or in connection with the painting – give us an idea of its appearance. Three of these drawings are housed today by the Leopold Museum, including the work Female Semi-Nude Lying on Her Front from the Right with Ruff. Alice Strobl associated the work with a group of reclining nudes characterized by highly prominent contours and draperies whose thick, parallel folds imitate the flow of the water. The work is an impressive early example of Klimt transitioning from thick chalk to thin pencil on Japanese paper.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Female Semi-Nude Lying on Her Front from the Right. Study for Water Snakes II, 1st Version
Art movement
Art Nouveau, Symbolism
Graphic work
Pencil on Japanese paper
34.9×55 cm
Stamp (black) lower right: GUSTAV KLIMT NACHLASS
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1326
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: 1398

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1978 – 1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994)

  1. Nachlassstempel: »GUSTAV / KLIMT / NACHLASS« auf der Vorderseite
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Gustav Klimt. Auf dem Bauch liegender weiblicher Halbakt nach rechts. Studie zu „Wasserschlangen II“, 1. Zustand, 1904. Dossier vom 31.01.2018

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