The spellbinding story, part fairy tale, part suspense, of Gustav
Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer," one of the most emblematic
portraits of its time; of the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish
salon hostess who sat for it; the notorious artist who painted it;
the now vanished turn-of-the-century Vienna that shaped it; and the
strange twisted fate that befell it.
"The Lady in Gold, " considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one
of the twentieth century's most recognizable paintings, made
headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135
million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of
his time, completed the society portrait.
Anne-Marie O'Connor, writer for" The" "Washington Post," formerly
of the "Los Angeles Times, " tells the galvanizing story of the
Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society
figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the
Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express
went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer,
The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was
considered a rebel of fin de siecle Vienna (she wanted to be
educated, a notion considered "degenerate" in a society that
believed women being out in the world went against their feminine
"nature"). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and
how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her--simple pencil
drawings on thin manila paper.
And O'Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold
engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic
in his time, a genius in ours.
She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from
the Bloch-Bauers' grand "palais;" of the Austrian government
putting the painting on display, stripping Adele's Jewish surname
from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her
Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the
painting, "The Lady in Gold" and proudly exhibited it in Vienna's
Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi
The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine
mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and
swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine.
We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the
"Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" became the subject of a decade-long
litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer
heirs, how and why the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the
case, and how the Court's decision had profound ramifications in
the art world.
A riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at
turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution
of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart
of it, the Lady in Gold--the shimmering painting, and its equally
irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!