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The painting "Adele Bloch Bauer I", also known as "Golden Adele", by austrian Jugendstil painter Gustav Klimt, has always fascinated me with its brightness, the golden glimmer and its dazzling beauty. I had been looking for a long time for a craftsman with the skills to create the perfect set for a photographic interpretation of this masterpiece. I wanted a real background for my "Adele", not a CGI. When I finally found him and I saw the first draft for the setting, we immediately started the casting.
Of course this series is my personal hommage to Klimt, but my approach was to ask the question how Adele could have looked like in all different stages of her life in this very painting. Adele Bloch Bauer died at the age of 43, so showing her as an elderly woman was just as important as portraying her in her younger years. For the main portrait - the second photo of the series - we were specificly looking for a young woman that looked very much alike Adele.
It took Klimt six to seven years to finish his portrait series, it took me and my team two weeks, including four different handpainted backgrounds and the costumes. The age range of the models goes from 10 to 70 years, the one thing they all have in common is the typical way that Adele held her hands in the painting. I really love how, even though the backgrounds and costumes might be similar, still each character comes out in the series. Each model gave her very own beautiful and perfect interpretation of "Adele".