Woman in Kimono
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)
Sheet: 50.1 x 32.2 cm (19 3/4 x 12 11/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Graphite pencil on paper
Not On View
This sketch holds a secret: it is a posthumous portrait. The subject, Maria (“Ria”) Munk, had taken her own life several years earlier. Klimt painted a small portrait of the young woman on her deathbed. He made this drawing in preparation for a larger painting of Ria that remained incomplete at Klimt’s death in 1918. Though his Viennese Jugendstil practice subsumed the portrait sitter into an opulent decorative program, the downward-tilted head and anxious facial features reveal Klimt’s sensitivity to the late sitter’s troubled life.
Recto lower right, in graphite pencil: 258.
Verso lower left, in graphite pencil: K/214
Verso lower right, stamped in purple ink: Gustav / Klimt / Nachlass
By the 1950s, within the family of Hanna Friedenstein, Lexington, MA, and passed by descent; 2006, gift of Hanna Friedenstein to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 2006)
Gift of Hanna Friedenstein