Serena Pulitzer Lederer (1867–1943)

Gustav Klimt Austrian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 829

Beautiful and stylish, Serena Pulitzer Lederer was a star of turn-of-the-century Viennese society. For this portrait, commissioned by her husband, the industrialist August Lederer, Klimt employed soft, sinuous brushstrokes to present Serena as an apparition in white. "An upright flower, long-stemmed … like a black tulip," enthused one critic when the painting was shown in 1901 at the tenth exhibition of the Vienna Secession—a group founded by Klimt and other artists four years earlier, with the aim of putting the city at the forefront of the international art world. The Lederers subsequently formed the finest collection of Klimt’s work in private hands.

Serena Pulitzer Lederer (1867–1943), Gustav Klimt (Austrian, Baumgarten 1862–1918 Vienna), Oil on canvas

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