Bloch-Bauer, Ferdinand

BORN 16 Aug 1864, Mladá Boleslav - DIED 13 Nov 1945, Zürich
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Feuerhalle Simmering, 11., Simmeringer Hauptstraße 337 (Abteilung MR, Gruppe 47, Nummer 1G)

Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer was the third son of the Jewish sugar manuacturer and banker David Bloch (1820-1982). he was educated at the commercial academy in Prague and in Berlin. He joined the family business that expanded under his direction to an internationally active company.

In 1899 he met Adele Bauer who was 18 years old at the time. She was the daughter of the banker Moritz Bauer. They married in December of that year and decided that they would use the name Bloch-Bauer. Adele had two stillborn children and their third child died two days after it was born.

At their homes in Vienna they were visited by famous people like Karl Renner, Gustav Mahler, Julius Tandler and Stefan Zweig. They were friends of the painter Gustav Klimt who painted Adele several times and was financially supported by Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. In 1909 he acquired the estate Jungfern Breschan in Bohemia near Prague where he housed his art collection. After the fall of the Austrian monarchy in 1918 he opted for Czechoslovak citizenship and they permanently settled there.

Adele died in 1925 of meningitis and in her will she asked her husband to bequeath her Klimt's paintings to the austrian State galley after his death. But Bloch-Bauer stated that the paintings had been his and not hers. When the nazis came to power in Austria and Bohemia his posessions including his paintings were confiscated. Bloch-Bauer fled to Prague and then to Zurich. There he lived in the Hotel Belle Rive and he died improverished in 1945. His body was cremated at Zihlfeld and his urn was place next to that of his wife in Vienna.

Bloch-Bauer bequeathed his paintings to the children of his brother Gustav Bloch. The Republic of Austria continued to claim that the paintings were their legal property because of the passage in the will of Adele. In 2006 they were finally returned to Gustav's daughter Maria Altmann.

• Wife: Bloch-Bauer, Adele (1899-1925)


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


Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer – Wikipedia

Blohm, Hermann

Published: 05 Apr 2021
Last update: 02 Mar 2022