More Than 24 Million Pounds: Landscape From Leopold Museum Fetches new Schiele Record

By Leopold Museum, PRNE
Thursday, June 23, 2011

VIENNA and LONDON, June 24, 2011 -


- “Häuser mit bunter Wäsche
(Houses with Laundry)
Auctioned at Sothebys in

- With Photo

As expected, the top lot at Wednesday evening’s spring auction
at Sotheby’s in London, Egon Schiele’s “Houses with Laundry”,
fetched a record sum. An anonymous private bidder paid the
impressive sum of 24.681.250 Million Pounds Sterling (40.1 Million
) for this exceptional landscape by Egon Schiele
(1890-1918). This sum sets a new record for works by the
Expressionist painter. The previous record of 22.5 Million Dollars
was reached in 2006. The Leopold Museum Private Foundation decided
to sell the work in order to cover the settlement costs of the
“Wally” case (United States of America vs. Portrait of Wally, a
painting by Egon Schiele). According to Dr. Elisabeth Leopold, the
decision was “painful, but taken for a right and just cause”.

Proceeds of Houses with Laundry
to cover Wally loan

The Leopold Museum’s Managing Director Mag. Peter Weinhäupl
explained that “the proceeds of this auction will be used to repay
the entire loan taken out to finance proceedings in the “Wally”
case, as well as to cover the costs of any further settlements”.
Lot number 9, the 1914 work by Schiele, was the evening’s main
attraction and as such also graced the cover of the auction
catalogue. Works by Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Giacometti and other
masters of Impressionism and Classical Modernism were also sold
during this auction.

Work from Böhler Collection

Rudolf Leopold: Intense chromaticity
as an allegory of youth

The painting “Houses with Laundry (Suburb II)” can be traced
back to the collection of the industrialist Heinrich Böhler. Prof.
Rudolf Leopold had purchased the work in 1952 from Böhler’s widow
Mabel. The canvas shows two clusters of houses. While the
background is made up of beige-grey fields with a chain of
mountains visible in the distance, the rendering’s foreground, with
its colorful laundry and scattered boats on the river’s shore, is
characterized by an intense chromaticity. Prof. Rudolf Leopold
offered an insightful interpretation of this rendering, which he
expressed in his Schiele monograph published in 1972 (Egon Schiele.
Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings): “The colorful laundry, which
seems much more animated than anything else depicted in this
rendering, might symbolize children and young people and their
carefree attitude to life. Once they have grown old, they live in
their dwellings, penned up in a confined space.”

Impressions of Ceský Krumlov and the
landscape of a soul

The painting’s motif is closely linked to Schiele’s impressions
of Ceský Krumlov. Many of the artist’s almost allegorical
landscapes were influenced by Schiele and Wally’s many visits to
this Bohemian town. These works are no mere cityscapes, but rather
portraits of old houses. According to Dr. Elisabeth Leopold, this
rendering “conveys the landscape of a soul with its growth and

Leopold Museum: Largest Schiele collection worldwide
- the most frequently visited museum in the Museums

While the Leopold Museum was obliged to part with this important
work, it is in the fortunate position of owning several other
exceptional cityscapes by Egon Schiele. The Leopold Collection,
which is housed in the Leopold Museum, boasts the largest Schiele
collection worldwide. Comprising 41 paintings and approximately 190
works on paper, it is not only the most comprehensive Schiele
collection, but, with a focus on works from the period between 1910
and 1915, also that of the highest quality. With its emphasis on
eminent examples of Viennese art from around 1900 (Gustav Klimt,
Kolo Moser, Vienna Workshops), on Expressionism (Gerstl, Kokoschka,
Schiele) as well as on Austrian Classical Modernism, the Leopold
Museum attracts an average of 350.000 visitors per year. This makes
it the most frequented museum in the Vienna MuseumsQuartier and a
veritable “temple” of Austrian art from the 19th and the
early 20th century.

Note to Editors:

A picture accompanying this release is available through the
PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from
or viewed at href="">
or href="">

For further information please contact:
Mag. Klaus Pokorny
Press / Public Relations

Leopold Museum Private Foundation
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Wien
Tel. +43-1-525-70-1507
Fax +43-1-525-70-1500




Entertainment News

June 24 News

will not be displayed