Friday, January 8, 2016

Portrait of a Woman by Gustav Klimt

Portrait of a Woman by Gustav Klimt born 1862 died 1918

Frauenbildnis (Portrait of a Woman) 1917-18

Oil and charcoal on canvas

Klimt began his painting in 1917, but it was left unfinished in his studio at the time of his death in February 1918.  It is the death bed portrait of Maria (Ria) Munk, the daughter of a prominent Viennese family.  In line with temporary elite fashion the family commissioned the portrait in her memory after her suicide over an unrequited love.  This picture evokes its subject through a wash of bold, Asian inspired patterns.

This is the last of three paintings that he painted of Maria Munk.

If you have not seen the film Woman In Gold, staring Helen Mirren you should; about Maria Altmanns quest and claim on family paintings especially the paintings of her aunt Adele Bloche-Bauer, painted by Klimt.  It was stolen by the Nazis and residing openly in a key Vienna Art Gallery.  It took ten years of legal battles to reclaim the families stolen paintings.


1 comment:

  1. That was a great film and it was good to see one of Klimt's paintings of Maria.


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