My Thoughts: I wanted to create a representation of the crimes committed in WW2, The least impacting of course in comparison is the stealing of thousands of pieces of art. It was not an atrocity but an injustice which Maria Altmann fought against to reclaim it. After watching the latest movie ”Women In Gold” I felt inspired to create this image. The lighting was extremely challenging. Its a bit different to my usual but I enjoyed creating it.
For the story and history read below.
In her will, Adele Bloch-Bauer asked her husband to donate the Klimt paintings to the Austrian State Gallery upon his death. She died in 1925 from meningitis. When the Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938 in the action known as the Anschluss, her widowed husband fled to Prague and subsequently to Zurich. Most of his properties in Austria, including his Klimt paintings, were confiscated and the attorney Friedrich Führer designated to administer their sale or disposal on behalf of the German state. In 1941, it was acquired by the Austrian state gallery, housed in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer died in November 1945 in Zurich. In his 1945 testament, he designated his nephew and nieces, including Maria Altmann, as the heirs of his estate.
In 2000, following administrative impedance by the Austrian authorities to her claims for restitution of the seized works, Maria Altmann sued Austria in US Court for ownership of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and other paintings from her uncle’s collection. As Bloch-Bauer’s pictures had remained in Austria, the Austrian government took the position that the testament of Adele Bloch-Bauer had determined that these pictures were to stay there. After a court battle, binding arbitration by a panel of Austrian judges established in 2006 that Maria Altmann was the rightful owner of this and four other paintings by Klimt.
In June 2006 the work was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for the Neue Galerie in New York City, at the time a record price for a painting. It has been on display at the Neue Galerie since July 2006.
Some in the art world criticized the heirs’ decision to sell all of the restituted paintings: specifically, New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman described the heirs as “cashing in”, and thus transforming a “story about justice and redemption after the Holocaust” into “yet another tale of the crazy, intoxicating art market”. Kimmelman wrote: “Wouldn’t it have been remarkable (I’m just dreaming here) if the heirs had decided instead to donate one or more of the paintings to a public institution?”
Music: “Empire Syndicate-Final Mission-Empire Syndicate”
Hope this was entertaining to watch.
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