Pad printing, Gold gilding, Unusual shape
The popular and successful series of coins under the title “Giants of Art” has been replenished with a new numismatic gem dedicated to the famous painting by an Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt – “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, created in 1907.
Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, the beautiful, seductive Viennese Jewish salon hostess who sat for it, was one of the most emblematic portraits of its time.
The influence of Egyptian art on Klimt is undoubtedly at work in this portrait of the wife of the industrialist Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. He twice commissioned Klimt to paint a portrait of Adele. This painting, made at the height of Klimt's career, prompted critics to coin the phrase 'Mehr Blech wie Bloch', a pun meaning more brass (i.e., money) than Bloch.
The portrait is notable for the mix of naturalism, in the painting of the face and hands, and the ornamental decoration used for the dress, chair and background. Like Judith and the Head of Holofernes The way in which the decoration cuts across the shoulders and forearms creates an impression of mutilation. Since Adele, the subject of both of these works, was one of Klimt's mistresses, it is difficult not to look for a psychological reason for the disjointing of the head and body.
Adele Bloch-Bauer possesses the rare distinction as the only person Klimt ever painted twice. In 2006 Adele Bloch-Bauer I was acquired for Neue Galerie in New York.
The reverse of the coin features a detailed and coloured image of this well-known masterpiece by Gustav Klimt. The obverse of the Solomon Islands coin traditionally bears the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” depicts Klimt’s masterpiece larger than ever before on a coin: the coin bar measures a gigantic 275 x 275 mm and is made from one kilo of pure silver. Perfecting a technique for minting and finishing has allowed the motif to be transferred smoothly onto a single enormous silver bar without any joints whatsoever.
The aim of the mint’s master engravers was to reproduce Klimt’s sensitive portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer with all its subtle details as authentically as possible. To achieve this, they used a unique combination of different finishing techniques. First, the entire coin is primed with an application of pure gold – the largest ever applied to a coin. The background to the image was subsequently finished with a Translucent Colour Application, through which the gold base shines.
The Color Application makes it possible to reproduce Adele Bloch-Bauer’s dress, mantle and face completely true to the original. This finishing technique was further refined for the face, décolletage and hands in the “Golden Adele”. The end result of these complex finishes is breathtakingly beautiful.
This 1 kg silver masterpiece is a must-have for any serious collector as well as a great gift idea!
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