The Neue Galerie built “Klimt and the Women of Vienna’s Golden Age, 1900–1918” around the radiant Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I(1907), embedded in the ornamented wall on its second floor. The exhibition includes an astute selection of the female portraits that Gustav Klimt completed in the mature phase of his life. The portraits were paid commissions that supported Klimt’s work on the allegorical images for which he is usually known, as well as his inimical, tesselated landscape paintings. Klimt nevertheless approached them with the utmost artistic seriousness. A suite of his preparatory drawings fills the anteroom. (Klimt painted slowly, but drew prolifically.)

The Neue has a winner of a concept here and could have done with a...


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