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The Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold in Europe

Gustav Klimt’s last painting is set to become the most expensive painting ever sold in Europe.

Gustav Klimt's painting: Dame mit Fächer
Dame mit Fächer (Lady with Fan) | Sotheby’s

The Austrian artist’s portrait Dame mit Fächer (Lady with Fan) was still in his studio when he died suddenly in 1918 at the age of 55, and was his last completed work.

The painting of an unknown woman is valued at £65 million ($82m), the highest ever estimated sale price for a painting sold in Europe.

“Dame mit Fächer is the last portrait Gustav Klimt completed before his untimely death, when he was still in his artistic prime and producing some of his most accomplished and experimental works,” said Helena Newman, Sotheby’s worldwide head of impressionist and modern art.

If what Sothebys are calling his “last masterpiece” achieves this price, it will become the most valuable painting ever sold on the Continent and be among the most valuable artworks ever to go to auction.

Klimt’s Dame mit Fächer will overtake the record-holding European sales of Claude Monet’s £40 million ($50m) Le Bassin aux Nymphéas, and René Magritte’s £59 million ($75m) L’Empire des Lumières.

Unless Klimt’s work vastly exceeds its valuation, it is unlikely to alter the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, which remains Leonardo da Vinci’s £350 million ($443m) Salvator Mundi, believed to have been purchased by the Saudi royal family.


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