The portrait of Johanna Staude (widowed Widlicka, 1883–1967) is one of Gustav Klimt's last works. The design of the dress in particular is evidence that Klimt did not complete the painting. The painting may not have been a portrait commission in the traditional sense. Klimt was friends with Johanna Staude. She likely modeled for him several times, just like she had posed for Egon Schiele. She later worked in the household of writer Peter Altenberg. She described herself as a painter, even though we do not know of any works she produced. She had a certain artistic flair, as indicated by her extravagant appearance. This was highlighted by her fashionable short hairstyle, and dress made from a fabric designed by Martha Albers, a graduate of the Vienna Arts and Crafts School, under the name "Blätter" (leaves) for the Fashion Department of the Wiener Werkstätte. For Klimt, who was highly interested in Wiener Werkstätte products and had possibly even designed clothes for Emilie Flöge, the fabric pattern was important enough to be reproduced as faithfully as possible. In accordance with his artistic temperament, the blue tones of the fabric in the painting are placed against a bright orange background.
Johanna Staude's eyes are a shining, bright blue. It is only her mouth that is clearly not yet finished. When the model asked why Klimt never finished this painting, the master artist supposedly answered: "Because you would never come back to the studio."


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