Gustav Klimt kept no diary. In a rare writing called Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait, he modestly admits,
“I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women…There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night…Whoever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures.”
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) is one of the most notable works of Klimt’s “Golden Phase.” It has a tumultuous biography, this portrait. Both the portrait and the woman on it, to be sure. Love, lust, jealousy, death, bequest, reversal of fortunes, war, occupation, expropriation, immigration, international courts of law… The story of this picture’s travails is truly amazing. Since 2006, the portrait is exhibited at the Neue Galerie, New York.
All of the above is just to feature this GIF image. Klimt would’ve been pleased… or, perhaps, horrified?