Gustav Klimt’s watercolour copy of Rubens’ The Triumph of Truth, $24,000 (£19,000) at AB Levy.

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In the years before the birth of Vienna Secessionism in 1897, he revered Vienna’s foremost history painter, Hans Makart, and enjoyed a successful decade as a painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. The 2ft 11in x 13in (89 x 33cm) watercolour on paper offered by AB Levy (20% buyer’s premium) in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 28 sale is a copy of Peter Paul Rubens’ The Triumph of Truth.

The original work, from a series of the Life of Maria de Medici, is now in the Louvre. Klimt signed and dated it 1880, meaning he was 18 or 19 at the time.

In commercial terms, the works he produced in this period are a mere shadow of the sums commanded by works in his best-known style.

This work, with a provenance including the Hungarian-American film industry executive William Fox (1876-1952), was last sold in Florida in April 2018 at Auction Gallery of the Palm Beaches when it sold at $18,000 (£14,000).

This time out, estimated at $7000- 9000, it hammered for $24,000 (£19,000).