Ex libris Fritz Waerndorfer (1903).
I could happily post things by the indefatigable Koloman Moser (1868–1918) all the time but he’s not exactly an unknown figure even if his work does get overshadowed by his colleague in the Vienna Secession, Gustav Klimt. This handful of ex libris plates almost all date from the Secession period, and include one for Adele Bloch-Bauer, a woman whose name is familiar these days for her being the subject of a very well-known Klimt portrait.
Ex libris Fritz Schwartz (1900).
Ex libris Rudolf Steindl (1900).
Continue reading “Koloman Moser bookplates”
More sculptual work by Franz Metzner for a building whose interiors are in that ponderous Teutonic style which resembles designs for a fantasy film.
Continuing the delve into back numbers of Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, the German periodical of art and decoration. Volume 20 covers the period from April 1907 to September 1907, and this is where this fascinating publication starts to run out of steam. A few more editions are worth looking at but after volume 25 the content collapses into the same welter of excessively dull genre painting and academic work that was plaguing Jugend magazine at this time. More about that later.
As usual, anyone wishing to see these samples in greater detail is advised to download the entire number at the Internet Archive. There’ll be more DK&D next week.
Continue reading “Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration #20”
‘Adele Bloch-Bauer I‘ (1907) by Gustav Klimt.
A dazzling gold-flecked 1907 portrait by Gustav Klimt has been purchased for the Neue Galerie in Manhattan by the cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder for $135 million, the highest sum ever paid for a painting.
The portrait, of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a Jewish sugar industrialist and the hostess of a prominent Vienna salon, is considered one of the artist’s masterpieces. For years, it was the focus of a restitution battle between the Austrian government and a niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer who argued that it was seized along with four other Klimt paintings by the Nazis during World War II. In January all five paintings were awarded to the niece, Maria Altmann, now 90, who lives in Los Angeles, and other family members.
Although confidentiality agreements surrounding the sale forbid Mr. Lauder to disclose the price, experts familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he paid $135 million for the work. In a telephone interview Mr. Lauder did not deny that he had paid a record amount for the painting, eclipsing the $104.1 million paid for Picasso’s 1905 “Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)” in an auction at Sotheby’s in 2004.
“This is our Mona Lisa,” said Mr. Lauder, a founder of the five-year-old Neue Galerie, a tiny museum at Fifth Avenue and 86th Street devoted entirely to German and Austrian fine and decorative arts. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition.” He said Christie’s had helped him negotiate the purchase.