Priceless Painting by Schiele

Neues Volksblatt (06/25/03)

The painting "Krumau" from the Austrian expressionist, Egon Schiele (1890-1918), which hung in the Neue Galerie in Linz until the previous year, was auctioned off in London for over 18 million Euros. "That is a record price for Schiele", said a spokesman for Sotheby’s. The estimated price exceeded almost double the amount. "It is the most highly priced, restituted painting that has yet been sold." The auction house refused to announce the seller.

The "Krumauer Landschaft (Stadt und Fluss)," dating back to year 1916 depicts the place Schiele’s mother was born, the small village of Krumau on the banks of the Moldau, some forty kilometers north of the Upper Austrian border.

The painting was originally owned by the Viennese textile industrialist, Wilhelm Hellmann, and wife, Daisy. The couple had bought it directly from their friend, Schiele. In 1938 the painting was confiscated by the Nazis and four years later sold to the Berlin art dealer, Wolfgang Gurlitt, who again sold it to the Neue Galerie in Linz in 1953. There it was exhibited and hung until it was restituted to the heirs of the Hellmann family.

On the "list ranking revenues" for Schiele paintings, the 'Krumau" oil painting remains unrivaled number one in terms of record sales prices:

"Porträt Anton Peschka" (12 million Euros, auctioned off by Sotheby’s of London in 2001);
" Haus mit trocknender Wäsche" (11 million Euros, Philips of New York in 2001);
" Porträt des Kunsthändlers Guido Arnol" (10.29 million Euros, Sotheby’s, 2000);
" Porträt Franz Martin Haberditzl" (6 million Euros, private sale in Vienna in 2003);
" Mädchen" (3.05 million Euros by the Vienna Art Auctions in 1998).