Bloch-Bauer, Adele

BORN 9 Aug 1881, Wien - DIED 24 Jan 1925, Wien
CAUSE OF DEATH meningitis
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Feuerhalle Simmering, 11., Simmeringer Hauptstra▀e 337 (Abteilung MR, Gruppe 47, Nummer 1G)

Youngest daughter of the banker Moritz Bauer (1840-1905), who had seven children. He was the general director of the Wiener Bankverein. She wasn't allowed to study and in 1899 she married Ferdinand Bloch (1864-1945), a rich sugar manufacturer and art collector. At that time her sister Therese (1874-1961) had already married her husband's brother, Dr. Gustav Bloch (1862-1938).

She learned herself English and French and studied classical literature, also by herself. She liked smoking and had a salon where she received Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Stefan Zweig.

In 1901 she was the model for Klimt's painting "Judith I". In 1903 Ferdinand Bloch commissioned Gustav Klimt to paint her portrait. It was shown in public in 1907 and is known as "Adele Bloch-Bauer I". A second portrait, "Adele Bloch-Bauer II", followed in 1912. In 1918 Klimt painted her friend Amalia Zuckerkandl and this and further paintings were also in the posession of the Bloch-Bauers.

After the fall of the Austrian Empire she and her husband obtained Czech citizenship, but they continued to live in Vienna. She suddenly died of meningitis in 1925. In her will (1923) she had asked her husband to donate the Klimt paintings to the Austrian Gallery after his own death. But Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer was forced to leave nazi Austria in 1938. The paintings where confiscated and ended up at the Belvedere in Vienna.

Adele's niece Maria Altmann sued the Austrian government for the Klimt paintings and in 2006 five Klimt paintings were finally returned to her. Not much later the first portrait was bought by Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in Manhattan for $135,000,000. The second portrait was sold by Christie's for $88,000,000 in November 2006 and is now in a private collection.

• Husband: Bloch-Bauer, Ferdinand (1899-1925)

Related persons
• was painted by Klimt, Gustav
• was visited by Mahler, Alma
• was visited by Mahler, Gustav
• was visited by Strauss, Richard


The grave of Adele Bloch-Bauer at the Feuerhalle Simmering, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (12 Aug 2010)


"Adele Bloch-Bauer I".


Adele Bloch-Bauer | Jewish Women's Archive

Bloch-Bauer, Ferdinand

Published: 19 Sep 2010
Last update: 02 Mar 2022