Read The Lady in Gold Online

Authors: Anne-Marie O'Connor

The Lady in Gold

BOOK: The Lady in Gold
ads

THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK
PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF

Copyright © 2012 by Anne-Marie O'Connor

Portions of this book previously appeared in the
Los Angeles
Times Magazine
in 2001 and are reprinted with permission.

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

www.aaknopf.com
Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks
of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

O'Connor, Anne Marie.
The lady in gold : the extraordinary tale of Gustav Klimt's masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer / by Anne-Marie O'Connor.—1st ed.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
eISBN: 978-0-307-95756-6
1. Klimt, Gustav, 1862–1918. Adele Bloch-Bauer I.  2. Bloch-Bauer, Adele, 1881–1925—Portraits. I. Title.
ND
511.5
K
55
A
618 2012 759.36—dc23 2011033578

Front-of-jacket image:
Adele Bloch-Bauer I
by Gustav Klimt, 1907. Oil, silver, and gold on canvas. This acquisition made available in part through the generosity of the heirs of the Estates of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer. Neue Galerie New York, New York, N.Y., U.S.A. Photo: Neue Galerie New York / Art Resource, N.Y.
Back-of-jacket photograph of Adele Bloch-Bauer, 1907. Courtesy Maria Altmann.
Jacket design by Jason Booher

Manufactured in the United States of America

v3.1

To William Booth,
Mary Patricia O'Connor,
and
Carolyn Koppel

Contents
Illustrations

 
prl.1
The Belvedere Palace.
Irina Korshunova, Shutterstock.

p01.1
Adele Bauer at sixteen.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

   
1.1
Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria.
Photo style of Carl Pietzner-Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

   
1.2
Katharina Schratt.
Adele, Atelier.

   
1.3
Adele Bauer's sister, Therese.
Artist unknown; photo of pastel sketch by Anne-Marie O'Connor.

   
2.1
Gustav Klimt.
Madame d'Ora, Atelier.

   
3.1
Jeanette Bauer.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

   
5.1
Ferdinand Bloch.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

   
5.2
The empress Elisabeth.
By Wilhelm Richter.

   
5.3
Gustav Klimt and fellow artists.
Photo by Moritz Nahr.

   
7.1
The future Alma Mahler.
Mahler-Werfel Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania.

   
7.2
Mizzi Zimmermann. Gustav Klimt,
Schubert at the Piano,
1899.

   
8.1
Mark Twain.
Charles Scolik, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

   
9.1
Gustav Klimt.
Photo by Ankowicz-Kleehoven.

 
13.1
Adele Bauer.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
13.2
Klimt's
Judith,
1901.

 
13.3
Felix Salten.
Madame d'Ora, Atelier.

 
15.1
Danae,
by Klimt.

 
16.1
Klimt, 1912.
Photo by Moritz Nahr. Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
17.1
Adele in her early forties.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
20.1
Adele's niece Maria Bloch-Bauer.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
20.2
Fritz Altmann.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
20.3
Maria at a ladies' lunch.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
22.1
Maria, Ischl, Austria.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
22.2
Maria and Luise Bloch-Bauer, ca. 1925.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
23.1
Maria Bloch-Bauer and her sister, Luise, 1927.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
23.2
Maria with Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
23.3
Maria and Christl, her best friend from childhood until she left Austria.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
23.4
Maria at her debutante ball.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
24.1
Bernhard Altmann.
Courtesy Yvonne and Peter Rubstein.

 
24.2
Maria with friends, Ischl, Austria.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
24.3
Maria, Austrian Alps, ca. 1936.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
26.1
Maria on her wedding day, December 1937.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
26.2
Maria on her honeymoon, Paris Métro, 1938.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
26.3
Newlyweds Maria and Fritz Altmann, St. Moritz, early 1938.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
38.1
Erich Führer.
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

 
40.1
Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt.
By
Gustav Klimt, 1914–16.

 
43.1
Baroness Luise Gutmann, with Nelly and Franz.
Courtesy Nelly Auersperg.

 
43.2
Baron Viktor Gutmann.
Courtesy Nelly Auersperg.

 
44.1
Reinhard Heydrich, ca. 1940.
Bundesarchiv, Germany.

 
44.2
Heydrich ruled as Nazi governor of Czechoslovakia from Ferdinand's Czech castle.
Courtesy Maria Altmann.

 
45.1
Bruno Schulz.
Courtesy Marek W. Podstolski.

 
47.1
Baldur von Schirach.
Bundesarchiv, Germany.

 
48.1
Young Nelly.
Courtesy Nelly Auersperg.

 
49.1
Schloss Immendorf, 1936.
Photo by H. Seering, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

 
57.1
Secret Nazi bunker, Belvedere Palace, 1943.
Photo by Martin Gerlach, Vienna City Archive.

 
57.2
Luise and Nelly, ca. 1949.
Courtesy Nelly Auersperg.

 
57.3
A depot of stolen art, Ellingen, Germany.
The National Archives, College Park, Maryland.

 
59.1
Belvedere Palace, ravaged by Allied bombings, December 1944.
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

 
60.1
Count Hubertus Czernin.
Photo by Heribert Corn.

 
61.1
Randol Schoenberg.
Photo by Volker Corell.

 
61.2
Arnold Schoenberg.
Copyright Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna.

 
79.1
Adele's ex libris by Art Nouveau master Koloman Moser.
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.

Prologue

The Belvedere Palace of war hero Prince Eugene seemed the setting of a fairy tale on the winter morning in 2006 when a young Los Angeles attorney, wearing a long black coat and an habitual air of impatience, trudged through its snowy gardens to lay claim to a painting he had spent years fighting for.

The lone man strode briskly along the imperial palace's frozen pond. Ice clung to the monumental sphinxes standing sentinel along his path, their hair swirling around fiercely beautiful faces, breasts naked between tassels dangling from armor. Their eyes cast a bold gaze, of sated conquest.

The lawyer was Randol Schoenberg, the grandson of a venerated Viennese composer who had fled the rise of Hitler. The return of this ominous heir was anything but welcome. The painting Schoenberg sought was a shimmering gold masterpiece, painted a century earlier, by the artistic heretic Gustav Klimt. It was a portrait of a Viennese society beauty, Adele Bloch-Bauer.

Both artist and model were long dead, but people still enjoyed speculating they had been lovers. Their artistic collaboration produced one of the greatest portraits of the modern age. Austrians regarded the painting as their
Mona Lisa.

Schoenberg paused to stamp snow from his boots at the doors of the palace, which now housed the Austrian Gallery, the premier national art museum, though it still bore the name bestowed by Prince Eugene, who called it his Belvedere, or “beautiful view.” From this hill the Turks had laid siege to Vienna in the last great showdown between East and West, and the soaring green Belvedere roof emulated their billowing tents.

ADS
15.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
READ BOOK DOWNLOAD BOOK

Other books

No Strings by Opal Carew
What Is Visible: A Novel by Kimberly Elkins
The Ronin's Mistress by Laura Joh Rowland
Sabotage by Karen King
Turning Pointe by Locke, Katherine
Snatched by Unknown
No Man's Land by James Axler
Shoeshine Girl by Clyde Robert Bulla