Limited edition (5000)
Measurements: 43mm x 33mm
Strap width: 17mm
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) by Gustav Klimt
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. The first of two portraits Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer, it has been referred to as the final and most fully representative work of his golden phase.Partsch, Susanna. Klimt: Life and Work, p. 242. Bracken Books, London, 1989. ISBN 1 85170 286 5 The painting was appropriated by the Nazis, and its ownership was subsequently contested between the heirs of the original owners and the Austrian state, finally being settled by a panel of Austrian judges in favor of the family members. According to press reports, the work was later sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, which made it at that time the List of most expensive paintings|most expensive painting for about 4 months. It has been on display at the gallery since July 2006.
and is made of oil and gold on canvas, showing elaborate and complex ornamentation as seen in the Jugendstil style. Klimt was a member of the Vienna Secession, a group of artists that broke away from the traditional way of painting. The picture was painted in Vienna and commissioned by Adele's husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer.Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer was born Ferdinand Bloch, the son of David Bloch (also known as Abraham Bloch), a banker and sugar factory owner, and his wife Marie, née Straschnow. Ferdinand married Adele Bauer, the daughter of Moritz Bauer (director of the Vienna bank Wiener Bankverein) and his wife Jeanette, née Honig. When Ferdinand married Adele, both adopted the surname Bloch-Bauer. As a wealthy industrialist who had made his fortune in the sugar industry, he sponsored the arts and favored and supported Gustav Klimt. Adele Bloch-BauerHer name is pronounced as in German language|German. became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt when he completed a second picture of her, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, in 1912.
Ownership of the painting
New York Times. The paintings were then shortly on display in Los Angeles in 2006 before the Adele Bloch-Bauer I was eventually sold to Lauder in June 2006, who reportedly paid the agreed $135 million. Christie's offered to finance in large part the acquisition by accepting a consignment of works of art worth around $100 million. The painting is the centerpiece of Lauder’s collection, Neue Galerie in New York. Lauder’s comment on the acquisition for his Neue Gallerie collection: “This is our Mona Lisa”. Originally, the four additional works by Klimt were included in the exhibition. Soon after the first transaction, news of the forthcoming auction of the four other Klimts was announced, triggering speculation about the probable prices of the Klimts at auction. In November 2006, Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) was sold at Christie's in New York, fetching almost $88m. In total the four remaining paintings sold for $192.7 million and the proceeds were divided up among several heirs. The buyers of those paintings remain anonymous. The wish of Maria Altmann that the paintings should be accessible to the general public in a museum has not been fulfilled. Some in the art world criticized the heirs' decision to sell all of the restituted paintings: specifically, New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman described the heirs as "cashing in," and thus transforming a "story about justice and redemption after the Holocaust" into "yet another tale of the crazy, intoxicating art market." Kimmelman wrote: "Wouldn’t it have been remarkable (I’m just dreaming here) if the heirs had decided instead to donate one or more of the paintings to a public institution?"