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Gustav Klimt, 1862-1918, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) is a painting by Gustav Klimt, completed between 1903 and 1907. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. The portrait is the final and most fully representative work of Klimt's golden phase. It was the first of two depictions of Adele by Klimt—the second was completed in 1912; these were two of several works by the artist that the family owned. The bold colours and subtle blend of tones make this a stunning scarf with a truly rich history (read more below).
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Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and the leader of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. In addition to the figurative works he is best known for, and which include allegories and portraits, he also painted stunning landscapes.
Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations and, as he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions but achieved a new success with the paintings of his "golden phase", many of which include gold leaf.
Klimt was a master of symbolism and embedded allusions to sexuality and the human psyche in his rich, lavishly decorated figures and patterns. The messages—often of pleasure, sexual liberation, and human suffering— were thinly veiled. His bolder, more risqué pieces, depicting voluptuous nudes and entwined bodies, scandalized the Viennese elites. Even so, the city’s establishment still adored his work and frequently commissioned him to paint their portraits. His peers were similarly enthralled with his style, recognizing his groundbreaking injection of sexuality, atmosphere, and expression into figurative painting.
Adele died in 1925 with her will requesting that the artworks by Klimt were to be left to the Galerie Belvedere, although these belonged to Ferdinand, not her. Following the Anschluss of Austria by Nazi Germany, Ferdinand fled Vienna, and made his way to Switzerland, leaving behind much of his wealth, including a large art collection. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1941, along with the remainder of Ferdinand's assets, after a charge of tax evasion was made against him. The money raised from the sales of artwork, property and his business were offset against the tax claim. The lawyer acting on behalf of the German state gave the portrait to the Galerie Belvedere, claiming he was following the wishes Adele had made in her will.
In 1998, an Austrian investigative journalist, established that the Galerie Belvedere contained a number of works stolen from Jewish owners in the war, and that they had not only refused to return the art to their original owners, but to also acknowledge a theft had taken place. One of Ferdinand's nieces, Maria Altmann, hired the lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg to make a claim against the gallery for the return of five works by Klimt. After a 7 year legal battle, which included a hearing in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, an arbitration committee in Vienna agreed the painting, and others, had been stolen from the family and that it should be returned to Altmann. It was then sold to art collector Ronald Lauder, who placed the painting in the Neue Galerie, the New York-based gallery he co-founded.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
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