Gustav Klimt - The Dancer, formerly Ria Munk 1916

Gustav Klimt - The Dancer, formerly Ria Munk 1916
The Dancer, formerly Ria Munk
1916 189x90cm oil/canvas
Private Collection New York

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The first portrait Klimt painted for Aranka Munk was “Ria Munk on Her Deathbed,” a picture the bereaved mother found too troubling, according to Sophie Lillie, a provenance researcher who tracked down the new witness and is working for the heirs. Munk gave that portrait to a sculptor friend, whose heirs sold it after the war. It even found its way into the collection of the singer Barbra Streisand before being sold again in 1999, said Lillie, author of ‘Was Einmal War,’ a handbook of Vienna’s plundered art collections.
A second portrait was later reworked into a painting of a dancer, she said. The third, the picture Lillie said Munk kept, was the unfinished “Portrait of Ria Munk III,” now one of the crown jewels of the Lentos Museum’s collection. It shows the dark-haired, rosy-cheeked young woman with her body in profile, her face turned toward the viewer. Klimt died before completing it.