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13-06-2007
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Emilie Flöge
Emilie Flöge with artist, Gustav Klimt


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Even during Klimt's lifetime, it was widely assumed that he and Emilie Floge were lovers, yet the truth of the matter, like many things concerning fin-de-siecle sexual mores, may be considerably more complex. Emilie Floge, twelve years Klimt's junior, was the sister of his brother Ernst's wife. When, some fifteen months after his marriage, Ernst died, Gustav was appointed quardian of the couple's newborn daughter. in this capacity, he had free reign in the Flogehousehold and became something of a surrogate uncle to young Emilie. The surviving correspondence between the two is voluminous, yet entirely platonic; their "trysts" involved such innocent activities as French lessons. Would the family have tolerated Klimt's presence in their summer home on the Attersee, as they did almost every year, had the two been clandestine lovers? And would Klimt so openly have paraded his mistess at the theater and opera, as he did Emilie? Klimt's real lovers, as is now known, were not such nice, middle-class ladies, but models and charwomen. If Emilie was the love of his life, she was a pure and sacred love, a Madonna to the whores who, figuratively and literally, occupied the dark alleys of fin-de-siecle sexuality. It is perhaps no wonder that Klimt's "Portrait of Emilie Floge," painted in 1902, was the first to present its subject as a bejeweled icon, agilded beauty whose decorative trappings constitute a metaphorial chastity belt. Directly anticipating the "gold" portraits of 1906-1907, the picture was exceedingly radical for its day, and perhaps for this reason neither Emilie nor her family liked it. The Floges declined to hang the painting, and in 1908 it was acquired by the City of Vienna. It was Emilie's fate also, in the end, to be rejected. In 1904, she and her sisters, Helene and pauline, had opened a fashion salon, smartly outfitted by the Wiener Werkstatte, in Vienna's Casa Piccola. This enterpreneurial venture (unusual for women at the time) was necessitated by the financial decline of the once-prosperous Floge family, and by the fact that the sisters, in their thirties, were too old to be considered rasonable marital prospects. Klimt, with all his avuncular affection, would not marry Emilie, preferring to retain his freewheeling bachelor's existence. Once he expressed his attitude in a whimsical poem: "In weather fair or foul, Every year I tell you true: Rather than ever marry, I shall give a painting to you." Despite Klimt's notorious philandering, Emilie remained true to him not only throughout his life, but also thereafter; she never married. Even after the Nazi Anschluss in 1938 forced the closing of the fashion salon, she maintained a "Klimt room" on its premises, in which stood the artist's easel and his massive cupboard, housing his collection of ornamental gowns, his caftanlike painter's smocks, and several hundred drawings. The doors of that room were always kept bolted.


Last edited by gius; 13-12-2007 at 01:58 PM.
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13-06-2007
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artfacts.net


aeiou.iicm.tugraz.at


art-perfect.de


Last edited by gius; 13-12-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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13-06-2007
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Quote:
To put it short, Emilie Flöge was a muse to artists and also designed dresses herself...








klimt.com


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13-06-2007
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Painted by Klimt... there is an actual version of this dress... If anyone has the photo of Emilie wearing it, please post


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Last edited by gius; 13-12-2007 at 02:00 PM.
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18-06-2007
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I think the dress is an extrapolation off a theme, not a rendition of a particular dress. Look at this:



Dead and Life, 1910 . leopoldmuseum.org

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18-06-2007
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Do you mean all the patterns? It is definitely part of Klimt's style but I did see an actual photo of Emilie wearing the dress with the same design or at least of one Klimt designed that looks really close to this--I just can't remember which book it is

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05-12-2007
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glad to find this discussion. i've been looking into all of this, blogging about it, and someone asked me the question about how there are very very few examples of anything designed by the floge sisters.

i have a bunch of books out of the library now, and there's one where they are credited for the embroidery, but beyond that there seems no agreement! the same dress might be attributed (design) to emilie, to klimt, or to wimmer-wisgrill.

i was trying to research all of this then came across the horrid obvious: i learned, for example, how hitler had been interested in klimt's work until he found out many of the women in the portraits were jewish, at which point he not only lost interest, but this was a major reason why the nazis destroyed much of klimt's work.

and the floges were jewish. from what i can tell, they escaped, but the shop, of course, was closed down. it wouldn't surprise me at all, sadly, if this is the reason none of her work survives.

but does anyone know, or have any more information on this? thanks. and gius--i'll keep my eye out for that dress, if it's in one of these books.

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06-12-2007
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^ thanks for the info! I wish there was more info on Emilie aswell.....

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07-12-2007
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I'm so glad some people have found this thread It seems to have just vanished once I created it

I've held some books which contained a few tiny sentences about Emilie... such as something she designed or something she modelled. I haven't read about her sisters or the store ever actually, that's wonderful!
I'm in a sort of time crunch at the moment, the end of first semester is next week, so we have a load of projects to finish by then... but once it's all over, I'll trek over to several libraries to search for these books again, my dear friends

By the way,lotusgreen your blog is a treat! I'd like to add your link to mine if you don't mind.
I was going to suggest checking several subjects for your research, one being the Wiener Werkstatte, but it appears from your blog you probably already know who I'm talking about The group seems to cover most of the design in this period, esp those concerned with Ms Floge
Another word to use would be Secessionists
They are really quite separate to the Art Nouveau, I feel

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07-12-2007
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i'm so glad you started this topic, and that you liked my blog! yes! please do link!

i've read a lot about all of this this week. if you read my blog entry, you saw my theory that perhaps so little remains because the floges were jewish, and their store was destroyed by the nazis.

there is a whole lot of disagreement on some things, but the consensus seems to be that she and klimt were very close for nearly 30 years, but were not lovers. and that he designed the clothes and she made them. sometimes the fabric was designed by someone else and manufactured by yet another person. those werkstatte folks were so versatile!

of course i agree, the wiener werkstatte was quite different from art nouveau, but i do think both were their own nation's version of japonisme!

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13-12-2007
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it turns out a book right in front of me has it :p

KLIMT by Gerbert Frodl






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13-12-2007
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lotus green.. some info for you

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Emilie Flöge, Klimt's companion, owned a fashion salon, La Casa Piccola, in Vienna, which she ran with her sisters. The salon was a gathering place for the avant-garde of Vienna. The Flöge sisters worked closely with the Wiener Werkstätte which supplied them with materials, jewellery and a variety of objects for their salon: statuettes, cushions, items of clothing. Emilie Flöge, who designed the clothes herself, was very influenced by Slavic folklore, above all Romanian embroidery. This is apparent in her heavily embroidered dresses, brightly coloured materials and wrap-over skirts.

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13-12-2007
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part 2
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Gustav Klimt was very interested in Emilie's work and only too ready to offer assistance, designing samples of long, simply cut dresses that hung away from the body, somewhat like kimonos. The design of these dresses derived originally from the well-known tunic of North African inspiration which was worn by Klimt himself. Emilie Flöge had given it to him, having had it made in the Wiener Werkstatte. Klimt not only designed dresses, but took up fashion photography in quite a professional manner. His photographs were published in magazines and used to advertise the dresses. Emilie Flöge modelled her own creations wearing long necklaces designed and produced by the Wiener Werkstatte, and given to her by Klimt. The Flöge sisters' salon operated successfully up until the end of the First World War. The post-war period saw the end of their prosperous clientele. And the Second World War forced them to close their workshop on account of the dearth of suppliers.

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13-12-2007
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And finally, I believe the dress I was wondering about in post #4 is this one:
(it's different after all...)


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13-12-2007
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oh that's so interesting! is all of that from that same book?

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