Why this Lost Klimt Painting Was One Of His Best

A compelling artwork destroyed by the Nazis

Christopher P Jones
6 min readNov 24, 2023

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Die Freundinnen or ‘The Friends’ (1916–17) by Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Destroyed. Image source WikiArt

When Gustav Klimt completed this compelling double portrait in 1917, the Viennese painter had reached the height of his artistic development. His painting style had become looser, more direct, marked by densely applied, almost silky textures. Gone was his use of shimmering gold and silver leaf; in their place…

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