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Dressed Floating Female. Study for the Painted Compositional Sketch for Medicine, 1897

Leopold Museum,
Black chalk on brown paper
44.5×31 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
According to Alice Strobl, this depiction is one of the earliest studies for the floating figure in the painted compositional sketch for the Faculty Painting Medicine which Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) executed in 1897/98 and which served the committee of the Ministry of Education as the basis for approving this commission for the University of Vienna. This floating figure, which assumes a prominent position in the left half of the Faculty Painting, with her head thrown back and arms stretched out sideways, is no longer dressed in the oil sketch but appears naked. While Klimt modified this floating nude in numerous sketches, there is only one other known pencil study of the dressed floating figure. In the Leopold Museum’s drawing, Klimt exploited the wealth of design possibilities offered by the medium of soft chalk and purposefully used the contrasting effects of strong and dark as opposed to soft and dim lines.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Dressed Floating Female. Study for the Painted Compositional Sketch for Medicine
Art movement
Symbolism, Art Nouveau
Graphic work
Black chalk on brown paper
44.5×31 cm
Designated lower right using black ink: Nachlaß meines Bruders [estate of my brother] Gustav Hermine Klimt; numbered lower right: 2609
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1341
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).
  • 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).
  • Alice Strobl: Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen. 1878 bis 1918, Salzburg 1989.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Strobl Bd. 4/1989: 3365

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918);
Hermine Klimt, Wien (ab 1919); (1)
Unbekannter Privatbesitz, Wien;
Auktion: 09.12.1987, Dorotheum Wien, Sonderauktion Jugendstil und Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Los Nr. 159, Tafel 64;
Auktion: 15.12.1988, Dorotheum Wien, Sonderauktion, Los Nr. 2310, Tafel 24;
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1989-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Bezeichnet auf der Vorderseite rechts unten: »Nachlaß meines Bruders Gustav / Hermine Klimt«
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Gustav Klimt. Bekleidete Schwebende. Studie zum gemalten Kompositionsentwurf zu „Die Medizin“, 1897. Dossier vom 31.01.2017.

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