Table of contents:
- Famous painting by Klimt returned home
- The story of the theft of the masterpiece and the police version
- The Mystery of the "Portrait of a Woman"
- The main themes of Klimt's work
- Favorite women of Gustav Klimt
Video: How the stolen painting of Klimt, which had been searched for more than 20 years, returned to the museum
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
The famous painting "Portrait of a Woman" by Gustav Klimt is again exhibited in the halls of the Ricci Oddi gallery. The painting returned here after a long absence, after its abduction in 1997. And I must say that the return of the painting was not easy - they were looking for the canvas for more than 20 years, and they found it not at all because luck smiled at the police or enthusiasts. The story of the return is like a fascinating detective story with an unexpected ending.
Famous painting by Klimt returned home
In 2020, almost on the eve of Catholic Christmas, a real Christmas miracle happened in the Italian town of Piacenza - a painting was found that was stolen from the Ricci Oddi contemporary art gallery 23 years ago. This canvas belongs to the brush of the famous Gustav Klimt, and the cost of the masterpiece is more than $ 60 million.
A painting was found in the wall of the gallery, from which it was stolen. A local gardener decided to clear the walls of ivy and accidentally saw a cache in the wall, covered with a metal panel. In the hiding place, he found a black plastic bag, in which rested a valuable find - the painting "Portrait of a Woman".
Wax seals spoke about the authenticity of the masterpiece, but, of course, an examination of the canvas was carried out. Experts have confirmed the authenticity of the found painting.
The kidnappers, well-known in criminal circles, who are now serving a sentence for another robbery, claimed responsibility for the theft. They themselves turned to a journalist and told their story. The thieves reported that they could not realize the picture and, after the statute of limitations of the crime, decided to donate it to the city, throwing it into the gallery's cache. Considering the nature of Italians who like to boast, it should be taken with great care to accept their recognition as true.
The story of the theft of the masterpiece and the police version
Back in 1997, the Ricci Oddi gallery was supposed to be closed for major renovations, and the "Portrait of a Woman" was planned to be exhibited in the City Hall. Noticing the loss of the canvas, the guard thought that the painting had already been removed to prepare it for transportation. The alarm was raised when a picture frame was found under the ceiling (near the skylight). On the frame, the police found a smeared fingerprint with traces of DNA that did not belong to the gallery staff.
There were many versions of the abduction. It was assumed that the painting was commissioned for a private collection. A version was also developed that the painting was stolen by representatives of a satanic sect. The police also worked out the version that the former Prime Minister of Italy Bettino Craxi, who was convicted of corruption and fled to Tunisia, ordered the canvas for his collection.
However, after the death of Stefano Fugazza, who served as director of the Ricci Oddi gallery, his diaries were found, in which he planned to arrange the theft of the "Portrait of a Woman", and then return it a few years later, in order to attract the attention of viewers to the gallery. The police have a new version - a staged abduction. Perhaps the painting was stolen for advertising purposes and never left the gallery.
The Mystery of the "Portrait of a Woman"
The work of the modernist artist "Portrait of a Woman" has been exhibited in the gallery since 1925. And the canvas was written in 1916-1917 (the exact date is unknown). This is one of the most recent works of Gustav Klimt, written by him shortly before his death in 1918 from a stroke.
Fans of painting are well aware of this picture. Few people know that in addition to the mysterious theft, another secret is associated with this canvas.
Who is depicted in the picture is unknown. She is a striking, pretty young woman with dark, shiny hair. The woman is depicted against a green background that emphasizes her beauty, the porcelain whiteness of her skin. She has blue, slightly tired eyes that look directly into the soul of the viewer.
The artist makes a bright accent on the blush of cheeks and juicy, painted with bright lipstick, lips. It is impossible not to notice a black mole located near the woman's left eye.
All colors are amazingly combined with each other, creating an incredibly attractive, harmonious canvas.
In 1997, a young student of art history, Claudia Maga, noticed the striking similarity of this picture with another, which depicts the beloved of Gustav Klimt, who left this world very early. The appearance of women, their postures, the outlines of the figure, and even a mole on the cheekbones of girls are extremely similar. This is the only double work of the master known to specialists. Perhaps, at the end of his life, the artist remembered his old love, and decided to depict what his beloved would look like a few years later, if she had not passed away.
The main themes of Klimt's work
Gustav Klimt has a happy creative destiny. Despite the fact that critics very often criticized his work, the audience always accepted them with a bang. He never lived in poverty in adulthood, so he could afford to write what he liked, to express his vision of life through creativity. Although at the beginning of his career, when modernism, in which Klimt painted his paintings, had just begun to make its way to the hearts and minds of the public, the artist was even offered to be expelled from Austria or sent to prison.
Gradually, modernism gained popularity in the world of painting, and Klimt became a recognized master and could create and live for his own pleasure.
The favorite genres of the Austrian artist were female portraits and landscapes. It should be said that Klimt was an ardent admirer and lover of women. They were his passion. It was rumored that he is the father of 40 children from different women. The artist has never been married, but has been passionately in love several times.
His favorite types of women can be traced in the paintings: brunettes with boyish figures and red-haired nymphs with luxurious feminine forms. The artist painted famous ladies from high society and representatives of the most ancient profession.
Klimt's paintings depicting women (with or without clothes) are incredibly sensual and, at the same time, chaste. They clearly read that women for the artist were beings of a higher organization, that he idolized them and worshiped them.
In many of his works, the master used gold leaf, which in a special way set off the portraits he painted. The most famous works of the artist: "The Kiss", "Three Ages of a Woman", "Judith and Holofernes I", "Portrait of Sonya Knips", "Portrait of Emilia Flege".
Favorite women of Gustav Klimt
Among the many women with whom the artist was fascinated, one can single out two whom he literally idolized throughout his life. The first is the artist's mother Anna Klimt. She took care of him for the rest of her life. The second woman he idolized was the sister of the artist's brother's wife Emilia Flege. This independent woman has been with Klimt for 27 years.
Some biographers claim that she was his mistress, while others that they had a platonic relationship. Emilia was a talented fashion designer, co-owner of a fashion house. But this proud woman was ready to devote her whole life to an eccentric artist. The last thoughts and words of the dying Klimt were about her, but they never tied the knot and did not have common children.
For many decades, creative people have drawn inspiration from the works of Gustav Klimt. He especially inspires designers and fashion designers.
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