• gerard van weyenbergh

Oprah sold her Klimt for $ 150 M.

Oprah Winfrey sold the famous Portrait of Adèle Bloch-Bauer painted in 1912 by Gustav Klimt to a Chinese collector for 150 million dollars in the summer of 2016.

Well versed art collector, she had acquired this portrait at Christie's in 2006 for 87.9 million dollars. The heirs of Adele had won a long legal battle against the Belvedere Museum in Vienna. The museum had kept the painting when it was among the five works of the artist stolen by the Nazis from her husband during World War II.

This long affair was also the subject of a film in 2015 with the actress Helen Mirren who played Maria Altmann, Adèle's niece, and Ryan Reynolds, who played the role of her lawyer.

The price reached by this painting in 2006 was a world record for Klimt when Oprah Winfrey appeared on the phone when the auction had reached the $ 74 million mark to win regardless of the price finally. She then loaned it to the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) in September 2014, demanding that her anonymity be respected.

This painting was also exhibited at the Neue Galerie in New York in June 2016 during an exhibition entitled "Klimt and the Women of the Golden Age of Vienna 1900-1918" bringing together the portraits of its female sponsors, in particular the other representation of Adele, privately purchased for $ 135 million by Ronald Lauder. For more than 70 years, these two works had been exhibited at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna before being returned to the Bloch-Bauer heirs.

Besides, another Klimt painting titled "Water Serpents II" was sold privately to a Chinese collector in November 2015 by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $ 170 million.

Artcult.com 2017