We’ve been told repeatedly that art historians are loathe to challenge an art work’s claims due to the cost of lawsuits. Yet Reuters reports that an Austrian academic has no qualms about pouring cold water on claims of a newly discovered Klimt:
Art dealer Josef Renz, who has just bought the painting from a family living near the Austrian city of Linz, said the ceiling painting of a trumpet-playing cherub might have been done by the two brothers together if not by Gustav Klimt alone.
But Alfred Weidinger, art historian, Klimt specialist, and curator of the Schlossmuseum Belvedere in Vienna, told Reuters he recognised the painting as an early, historicist work by Ernst Klimt, who died in 1892, 26 years before Gustav.
“It’s definitely not an important painting, even for Ernst Klimt,” said Weidinger, noting that Ernst Klimt had died years before the Vienna Secession movement that rebelled against historicism and of which Gustav Klimt was a founding member.