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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Dr. Eric Garberson


In 1907, Gustav Klimt finished Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The portrait offers a strong opposition between the three dimensionality of the sitter's face and hands and the flatness of her ornamented dress and surroundings. Despite this opposition the portrait has not been discussed within the theoretical framework of portraiture, but is most often discussed, and grouped, with Klimt's other portraits and images of women. This paper argues that the lack of scholarly consideration of this portrait, and Klimt's portraits as a whole, might be due to his seeming lack of artistic program. By relating Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I to identity theory and to the scholarship on modern portraiture, this discussion will reveal that there are elements of interest in Klimt's portraits which warrant scholarly consideration.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008