Portrait of Trude Steiner by Gustav Klimt
This portrait by Gustav Klimt was of the daughter of Jenny Steiner a Viennese collector. Gustav Klimt was a popular painter in Vienna who was very selective about who he chose to paint. With no end to the commissions coming to his door he could pick the portraits that most appealed to him. In most cases he opted to paint women as they were his favorite subject. It was said that he would paint day and night in his home wearing nothing other than sandals and a robe.
Gustav Klimt was very secretive about his methods and how he painted. His golden period was during the early 20th century and it was then that he not only used gold in his paintings but that he was at the height of his popularity as a painter. He died in 1918 after suffering a stroke due to the pneumonia epidemic of the time.
The Portrait of Trude Steiner was one of the commissioned paintings that Gustav Klimt did. It is a simple piece that gives a softer and less erotic feel than some of Gustav Klimt’s other works. It was commissioned around 1900 which was before Gustav’s golden period and before he became a very prominent painter throughout Vienna. The painting was lost when Jenny Steiner fled Austria with her daughters in 1938, shortly after the Nazi invasion of Vienna. The painting was taken by the Nazis that same year under the pretense of being part of a collection to pay the taxes. It was sold at auction around April of 1941 and there has been no information on the portrait since then.