Oprah Winfrey Sells Klimt Painting For $150 Million
Oprah Winfrey has sold a Gustav Klimt painting for $150 million in one of the biggest private art sales of 2016.
OPRAH SELLS KLIMT PAINTING FOR $150 MILLION
Winfrey originally bought the piece, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II,” for $87.9 million in 2006 at Christie’s auction house in New York City. Since then, it’s value has risen by nearly 71%.
This is the second Klimt piece to sell recently, after Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev sold “Water Serpents II” for $170 million in 2015. Both paintings went to Asia, which is eager to collect more western art masterpieces with its booming wealth. “Klimt is on the list of some people,” said Grace Rong Li, an advisor to Asian art collectors.
“Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” had been hanging at the MoMa last year before Winfrey was approached about selling. Before the sale, the cultural giant temporarily lent the piece to the Neue Galerie in New York for an exhibition.
Interestingly, the canvas was part of a collection looted by the Nazis but restituted by the Austrian government to Bloch-Bauer’s estate in 2006. “Adele Bloch-Bauer is the only subject Klimt is known to have portrayed twice — first in the iconic 1907 ‘golden’ portrait, then in 1912 in a very different, exuberantly colored work,” explained Scott Gutterman, deputy director of Neue Galerie. “Seeing the two works side by side allows the viewer to see how Klimt’s work changed during this key period in his artistic development.”
The version sold by Winfrey will be hung next to its sister painting at the Neue Galerie.