This drawing is among the one hundred studies Gustav Klimt made for his famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I completed in 1907. The painting is considered the culmination of the artist’s “Golden Period.” In 1912, Klimt completed another portrait of the subject, again on commission from her husband, making her the only woman to have sat for him twice.
Jewish by birth, Adele Bauer (1881-1925) and her husband, Ferdinand Bloch (1864-1945) belonged to the Viennese elite. Bloch, a sugar magnate and banker, collected avant-garde art and was a major patron of Klimt. Their salon attracted writers, musicians, and politicians including Alma Mahler-Werfel, Stefan Zweig, and Richard Strauss.Source: The Jewish Museum, New York, 2001.