Portrait of Fritza Riedler was painted in 1906 in the midst of Gustav Klimt’s golden period during which he made extensive use of the gold leaf. Typically, it is highly decorative and loosely in the style of Art Nouveau – as is shown here in the use of flowing forms.
The decorative headdress of the sitter shows the influence of the adornments of the heads of pharaohs in Egyptian art. Combined with the rich decorations, for example, the sea of ‘eyes’ on which the woman is seated, is Klimt’s usual realistic portrayal of the face.
Fritza Riedler was the wife of Alois Riedler, a prominent Austrian mechanical engineer who specialized in the early development of internal combustion engines for both motor vehicles and aircraft. He was a professor at the Technical University of Munich, RWTH Aachen University, and the Technical University of Berlin.
Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Fritza Riedler is in the Belvedere in Vienna, Austria.