"Zwei Liegende" was taken from the Lentos Museum in the city of Linz. It was one of four works by Klimt and pioneer of Viennese Modernism Egon Schiele that were at the centre of a drawn-out legal battle between the city of Linz and the heirs of artist and collector Olga Jäger. She had given these works to the museum on long-term loan in 1951.
Following Olga Jäger's death in 2006, her heirs asked for the works to be returned, but they could not be found.
The Lentos Kunstmuseum. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Last year, the museum had paid Jäger’s heirs a total of €8.2 million ($10.1 million) in compensation for the loss, including €100,000 ($124,000) for the Klimt drawing by a court decision.
The German press agency DPA reports that the rediscovered drawing will be included in one of several dozen exhibitions, started from March until May 2018 in Austria, dedicated to the centenary of the deaths of Klimt and Schiele, Austria’s most famous artists. The first of them already started in the Leopold Museum, Vienna.
Three works by Egon Schiele—an oil painting, a watercolor, and a drawing—are still missing. According to a spokesperson for the city of Linz, there are “no serious indications” that the works were in the possession of the former Lentos Museum secretary.
Read about another sensational rediscovery by the Van Gogh Museum experts: two drawings have been recently attributed to Vincent van Gogh
Left: Gustav Klimt. Kiss, 1908.
Now city authorities say that the Klimt drawing has been tracked down. It will then be returned to Jaeger's descendants on the condition that they pay back the €100,000 compensation they were awarded for the lost work.
Meanwhile, Austrian police claims they will resume the investigation into the three missing Schiele works.
Another amazing discovery happened this month in London. A long-lost painting of a Nigerian artist was found in the North London, at an apartment of an ordinary family. "Tutu" is one of the most iconic pieces of contemporary African art in over 50 years.
Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu painted the portrait of a young woman named Adetutu Ademiluyi, known as Tutu, in 1974. She was a royal princess of Ife, an ancient city in southwest Nigeria that's considered the ancestral home of the country's second largest ethnic group, the Yoruba.
The African Mona Lisa was last displayed at the Italian embassy in Lagos in 1975, and was bought by the father of the north London family during a business trip. "Tutu" will lead Bonhams' "Africa Now" auction in London on Feb. 28 estimated at £200,000 - £300,000. If it goes over the upper limit it will set a new record for a modern Nigerian artist.
Left: Ben Enwonwu, "Tutu", 1974.
Title illustration: Gustav Klimt, "Zwei Liegende" ("Two Reclining Figures").
Based on materials ArtDaily, The Telegraph, The Guardian, NY Times.