Gustav Klimt (Austrian, Baumgarten 1862–1918 Vienna)
22 3/8 x 14 11/16 in. (56.9 x 37.3 cm)
Gift of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, 1982
Not on view
Rapidly executed during Klimt's late period, this sensuous drawing belongs to a large group of works that focus on women, strongly recalling the central figures in the paintings The Maiden (1912-13; Národní Galerie, Prague) and The Bride (1917-18; private collection, on loan to the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna). Klimt was known to draw for many hours each day, often experimenting extensively with a single motif, such as the one seen here, of a woman with her head resting languidly on her shoulder. In addition, he relied on multiple drawings, sometimes from vastly different periods, to make a single painting, rendering it difficult to conclusively assign a drawing as preparatory to a particular painting. Most closely associated with The Bride and her long, almost geometric braids, Half-figure of a Young Woman is, characteristically, worked up from sketchy light gray lines into darker, more agitated strokes.
Signature: Signed and dated at lower right: Klimt 1918 (?)
Erich Lederer (Geneva); Sir John Pope-Hennessy (British, London 1913–1994 Florence)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 12, 2010–July 11, 2010.
Stobl 3054; Novotny-Dobai S. 358
Alice Strobl Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen (1912-1918). vol. 3, Salzburg, 1984, Albertina, Vienna exhibition, 1968, nr. 119 (ill.); Essen, Museum Falkwang, 1976, nr. 102 (ill.), cat. no. 3054, ill.