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Reclining Female Semi-Nude, Her Left Arm Partially Covering Her Face. Study for The Virgin, 1911/12

Leopold Museum,
Red crayon on Japanese paper
56.2×37.2 cm


  • Gustav Klimt

    (Baumgarten near Vienna/Vienna 1862–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Between 1911 and 1912, Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) created a large number of studies and preliminary drawings for his 1913 painting The Virgin, which was probably largely completed by the end of 1912. Seven of these studies, among them Reclining Female Semi-Nude with Raised Dress, are owned by the Leopold Museum. Klimt painstakingly explored the position of the central floating virgin, as well as that of the five further female figures surrounding her, in numerous compositional variations. On account of the raised arms and drapery pushed up all the way to the chest, the figure in the present work from the Leopold Museum conveys the sense of floating, which is such a central aspect of the painting, particularly well. The model’s gesture of covering her face with her arms is a pose often encountered in nude photographs of the time, for instance in the shots taken by the Viennese photographer Otto Schmidt (1849–1920) around 1900 for a specific clientele.

Object data

  • Gustav Klimt
Reclining Female Semi-Nude, Her Left Arm Partially Covering Her Face. Study for The Virgin
Art movement
Art Nouveau, Symbolism
Graphic work
Red crayon on Japanese paper
56.2×37.2 cm
Stamp (black) lower right vertically: GUSTAV KLIMT NACHLASS
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1357
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: 2224

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Gustav Klimt, Wien (1918); (1)
Klipstein und Kornfeld, Bern (1956-1958);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1958-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Nachlassstempel: »GUSTAV / KLIMT / NACHLASS« auf der Blattvorderseite
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Gustav Klimt. Liegender weiblicher Halbakt, das Gesicht mit dem linken Arm teilweise verdeckt, Studie zu „Die Jungfrau“, 1911/12. Dossier vom 31.01.2017; Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Katalog zu: Gustav Klimt. 1862-1918. Zeichnungen, Gedächtnisausstellung 16. Oktober bis 16. Dezember 1962, Wien 1962, Nr. 161

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