Shares the events that shaped the creation of the painter's most famous portrait, covering such topics as the story of the salon hostess who was his model, contributing factors in turn-of-the-century Vienna, and the painting's fate.
Washington Post journalist Anne-Marie O'Connor tells the galvanizing story of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the dazzling Viennese Jewish socialite immortalized in Klimt's 1907 portrait. Decades later, Nazis confiscated the portrait from the family, called it The Lady in Gold to erase all connection to its Jewish subject, and proudly exhibited it in Vienna's Baroque Belvedere Palace. Sixty years later, ownership of the portrait became the subject of a decade-long dispute between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs. The U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, and its decision had profound ramifications in the art world. The Lady in Gold is at once a stunning portrait of fin-de siecle Vienna, a wrenching tale of Nazi war crimes, and a fascinating glimpse into the high-stakes workings of the contemporary art world.
Anne-Marie O'Connor was born in Bradford to Irish parents. She has written plays for theatre, radio and television. She now lives in Manchester with her partner and baby.
"Fascinating. . . . A mesmerizing tale of art and the Holocaust." --The Washington Post "A celebration of art and persistence. . . . O'Connor's book brings Klimt's exceptional portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer home, broadening the meaning of homeland at the same time." --The Christian Science Monitor
"Ms. O'Connor has told an important story." --The Wall Street Journal
"O'Connor skillfully filters Austria's troubled twentieth century through the life of Klimt's most beloved muse. . . . A nuanced view of a painting whose story transcends its own time." --Bookforum
"Captivating." --MORE Magazine
"Combines detailed reportage with passionate storytelling. . . . Unraveling the portrait's journey also reveals how global norms of art and war have changed, and the powerful roles that art plays in politics, society, identity and memory." --The Rumpus
"A fascinating book." --The Dallas Morning News
"Richly drawn. . . . Part history and part mystery, The Lady in Gold is a striking tale." --BookPage
"The lusciously detailed story of Gustav Klimt's most famous painting, detailing the relationship between the artist, the subject, their heirs and those who coveted the masterpiece. . . . Art-history fans will love the deep details of the painting, and history buffs will revel in the facts O'Connor includes as she exposes a deeper picture of World War II." --Kirkus Reviews
"Intriguing. . . . Poignant and convincing. . . . Vividly evokes the intellectually precocious and ambitious Adele's rich cultural and social milieu in Vienna, and how she became entwined with the charismatic, sexually charged, and irreverent Klimt." --Publishers Weekly
"Writing with a novelist's dynamism, O'Connor resurrects fascinating individuals and tells a many-faceted, intensely affecting, and profoundly revelatory tale of the inciting power of art and the unending need for justice." --Booklist (starred review)
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