Bauerngarten by Gustav Klimt
A masterpiece painting by artist Gustav Klimt will lead Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art auction next month in London.
Created during the celebrated golden years of Klimt's career, Bauerngarten could fetch in excess of $45 million dollars when it hits the auction block.
The landscape, which was first exhibited in Vienna in 1908, is being offered at auction for the first time in over two decades.
Helena Newman, chairman of Sotheby's Europe, said the "luminmous" work is a rare offering from one of the most recognized – and revered - artists in the world.
"Most of the artist's oil paintings of this calibre are in major museums around the world with only a handful works of this importance having appeared at auction in the last decade," said Newman.
Last week, billionaire entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey parted with Klimt's Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer II for an estimated $150 million dollars. The sale represtened a 71 percent profit on Winfrey's initial 2006 investment of $88 million. An unidentified Chinese industrialist purchased Winfrey's painting through famed art dealer Larry Gagosian in a private transaction.
In 2015, billionaire Ron Lauder paid a record $135 million for another version of Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer portrait. At the time it was the most expensive private art deal in history.