Gustav Klimt: The final years

Gustav Klimt: The final years
Gustav Klimt dominated the art scene in Vienna from around 1900 until his death in 1918. Continuing his earlier success, his painting Death and Life received first prize in the world exhibitions in Rome in 1911.

Gustav Klimt's other works during his latter days included Portrait of Mada Primavesi and Avenue in Schloss Kammer Park. Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model to be painted twice by Klimt, when she posed for Adele Bloch-Bauer II in 1912.

Adele Bloch-Bauer was the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy industrialist and an art-lover who sponsored Gustav Klimt and other artists.

The original Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is the more famous of the two paintings, fetching a then-record US $135 million when it was sold to  American businessman and philanthropist Ronald Lauder in June 2006. The Adele Bloch-Bauer II went under the hammer in November 2006, fetching a cool US $88 million in the process.

Gustav Klimt died in Vienna on February 6, 1918, three years after the death of his mother. Klimt fell victim to the infamous influenza pandemic that engulfed the globe, claiming between 50 million and 130 million lives around the world in three years.

Klimt's death, caused by a stroke and pneumonia induced by the influenza, left several paintings unfinished, including the The Bride, Adam and Eve, and Portrait of Johanna Staude.


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