klimt-gertud-leow-635x357A portrait restored to the heirs of its original Jewish owner is expected to fetch up to $27.7 million (£18m) at auction later this month.

The 1902 work was painted by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. The subject of the portrait and its original owner, Gertrud Leow, was forced to abandon it when she fled Nazi persecution for the US in 1939.

The painting ended up in the hands of Klimt’s son Gustav Ucicky, a propaganda filmmaker for the Nazis, the BBC reported.

Ucicky’s widow Ursula’s Klimt Foundation reached an agreement with Loew’s family in 2014 over the portrait, saying it wanted to reach a “fair and just” solution after a committee of experts deemed that the picture fell under Austrian restitution laws.

“This portrait portrays the brave and determined nature of my grandmother. Her strength of character and beauty lives on in this visual embodiment,” Leow’s granddaughter said. Gertrud was 19 when the painting was done.

The painting goes on sale at Sotheby’s in London on June 24.

Another of Klimt’s works became the subject of the 2015 film “Woman in Gold,” following the story of Maria Altmann’s escape from Vienna and her subsequent efforts to reclaim a portrait of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer I from the Austrian government.