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Study for "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I", c. 1903

Gustav Klimt
Austrian, 1862 - 1918
black chalk on brown wove paper
44.8 x 30.9 cm
Purchased 1965
National Gallery of Canada (no. 14848)

Klimt painted this Viennese socialite’s portrait twice as herself, and twice as Judith. Some historians suggest they were lovers, but not all agree. He made 129 known studies for the first painting, more than for any other portrait. Compared to his painfully considered and minutely constructed paintings, Klimt’s drawings seem immediate and spontaneous.

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