Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Adele again

Gustav Klimt - Adele Bloch-Bauer (1907) detail
Coxsoft Art scooped Art Daily on this story, but Art Daily's newsletter brought a better graphic today. Here's the essential detail of Gustav Klimt's portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (1907), the most expensive work of art ever sold. The more you remove of that mixed-media nonsense, the better the picture becomes. Allowing the subject to sink into a morass of superfluous background detail is the worst faux pas a portrait painter can commit. Admittedly Klimt's stuff is pretty-pretty, but for a gobsmacking portrait of a similarly elegant and beautiful lady, view John Singer Sargent's Lady Agnew of Locknaw (1893). Wow!


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