KLIMT, GUSTAV. Das Werk von Gustav Klimt. Einleitende Worte: Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg. 50 richly printed collotype plates including 10 printed in color and heightened in gold and silver, all with specially designed unique intaglio signets printed in gold in lower margins; 470 x 453 mm; 18 1/2x17 7/8 inches, sheets. Large square folio, contents (title-page, plate lists, and separate sheets with Bahr and Altenberg text) loose as issued in original case designed and signed by Julius Dratva, Vienna, with grey-green cloth-covered spine over faux calf patterned boards with gilt square on front cover bearing Klimt's name within decorative circle and his name stamped in gilt on spine, clasps to upper and lower frame to secure covers, rubbing along edges with paper loss, a few unobtrusive suface imperfections, grey cloth ties and one loose grey silk plate pull thread laid in; plates bright with strong impressions and quite clean but for very faint scattered and mostly marginal foxing. Printed by K. K. Hof-und-Staatsdruckerei. Vienna: Hugo Heller, 1918
hand-numbered 35 of 300 copies of this scarce and magnificent publication, complete with all printed plates and text. klimt's only monograph published in his lifetime and shortly before his death. Prepared and produced under Klimt's artistic supervision between 1908 and 1918, Das Werk was a the tour-de-force collaboration between the artist and his close friend, the visionary Viennese publisher, Hugo Heller.
Each image is rendered in collotype (heliogravure) and bears its distinctive signet in the lower margin. These gold signets were original designs which Klimt specifically developed between 1908 and 1914 in order to designate and symbolize each image in this portfolio (for further information on the signets and their relationship to the paintings, see Alice Strobl, Die Zeichnungen 1904-1912, Salzburg, 1982, pages 286-290.)
The total edition was 70 deluxe copies with an original drawing and this edition of 230, though many were lost or misplaced as a result of Heller's bankruptcy, subsequent move, and Klimt's death soon after the publication. The Emperor Franz Joseph was the first to buy a copy of the portfolio and, notably, Frank Lloyd Wright owned owned one as well (See Alofsin, Anthony. Frank Lloyd Wright, Art Collector: Secessionist Prints from the Turn of the Century. 2012). A handsome copy of this rare work that we are pleased to offer in the 150th anniversary year of Klimt's birth.
All items are offered for sale subject to Swann Galleries' standard terms and conditions of sale, which are published in our catalogues.