Katharina Grosse Untitled
Gustav Klimt never painted a self portrait, quite extraordinarily for an artist. There is one portrait of him by his friend and protégé Egon Schiele, and another painting by Schiele that we have reason to believe portrays them two together. However, although he did not like to paint himself or to be painted, we do have some photographs of him :) These that I am posting today are of him and his life partner Emilie Flöge, whom he never married but who nevertheless and inspite many other women in his life, stayed with him for almost 30 years :)
Gustav and Emilie met around 1891 : his brother Ernst Klimt married Emilie’s younger sister Helene. The two Klimt brothers and two Flöge sisters were extremely close, as siblings but also in business - as Gustav and Ernst (who was an engraver like their father) worked together in Company of Artists, Emilie and Helene owned fashion salon together called Schwestern Flöge (Flöge Sisters) on what is today as well it was in their time one of the most posh streets in Vienna - Mariahilfer Strasse. However, this idyll was soon over with the death of Ernst in 1892; Gustav was however by his will appointed Helene’s guardian and so started spending much time with Flöge family. The liaison between Emilie and Gustav became passionate and strong, although not exclusive. However, when he died in 1918 he left to her half of his belongings.
These are some photos of their life together, her wearing mostly her own designs :) and portrait of Emilie by Klimt.