Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt is one of the artist's finest paintings and an important topic of study for many art history students
The painting features an incredibly elaborate portrait of lady Adele Bloch Bauer and it is this detail and boldness that helps set the painting out from the rest of Gustav Klimt's career, with so many other impressive paintings also to have come from his career. Klimt frequently depicted woman within his paintings and found they offered something majestic to his paintings, whilst his natural style was to add great numbers of extra detail around them, much of which came from his creative imagination.
Adele Bloch Bauer sits amongst the top ten paintings from Klimt, alongside the likes of The Kiss and The Tree of Life. All of these feature goldleaf paint which was one of his recognisable hallmarks as well as using every part of the canvas to his advantage with major detail even added to background elements. This complexity helped these paintings to become modern day classics and ensure that the viewer of each has a wealth of visual information and interest to feast on, giving them each a high level of longevity.
The Adele Bloch Bauer portrait that people normally refer to is actually just one from a series, with the artist happy to choose the model on several occasions for his work. The one covered in this website is the first and came around in 1907, featuring oil, silver, and gold on canvas in a work which measures 138 cm × 138 cm (54 in × 54 in) and currently hangs in the Neue Galerie, New York. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II came about in 1912 and was another successful painting but has never achieved the same academic acceptance as the first.
The Adele Bloch Bauer I painting was involved in a complicated legal battle having been confiscated by the Nazis before being returned to it's legal owner many years later. It has been since sold on for an incredible $138m which at the time, in 2006, was the highest fee to have been paid for any painting, underlining the importance of Klimt's career and also the great desire of the new owner, Ronald Lauder to acquire it. The gentlemen is question has long been attempting to buy classic art with Jewish connections that had fallen into the wrong hands, with his collection being displayed at the Neue Galerie which itself hosts an excellent collection of Austrian and German art.
This website covers Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer painting in full and also discusses some of his other great works too. Additionally, there are options to buy your own Adele Bloch Bauer reproduction paintings as well in different mediums from trusted art retailer, Art.com with framed and unframed art prints, posters and stretched canvases all available.
Aside from Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Klimt produced another beautiful portrait, with a similar mystical feel. The Kiss itself remains the best known painting of all from Klimt and it's inclusion of two lovers together perhaps help it to offer even more than the straight portraits as seen in Adele Bloch-Bauer I & II plus several other works from this famous Austrian artist. The Adele Bloch-Bauer I painting itself will always remain best known for it's exceptionally high price in 2006 plus it's role in the reclaimation of Jewish art which had been dispersed after the tyrannical and unforgiving rule of the Nazi Party across Austria and Germany prior to WWII.
The importance of model Adele Bloch-Bauer within the life and career of Gustav Klimt is shown in how she was the only one to ever be used in two different paintings and her name has received considerable further interest thanks to the recent media coverage on the first painting of the series which obtained such an extraordinary value, even being termed as the Jewish Mona Lisa by it's excited new owner back in 2006. There can be no doubt whatsoever as to the merits of this model who had a strong family connection to the artist. Studies over the past 100 years around the two works have uncovered various other items related to the model including textual information as well as preparatory portrait sketches as well.
Adele Bloch-Bauer and Gustav Klimt's portraits of her have undoubted importance within his rise within the art world and the only paintings which can really claim to have had a more significant legacy within his career are The Kiss and The Tree of Life.
Adele Bloch Bauer and The Kiss as covered in detail within this site but Gustav Klimt's career brought many other impressive and influential oil paintings which we list below: