Her aunt Adel is the subject of two of the paintings at issue. Maria Altmann was a beautiful bride of only four months when the Gestapo came knocking. “Believe me, there were no … Maria Altmann was a 21-year-old newlywed when the Gestapo seized her husband, Fritz, and sent him to the Dachau concentration camp in an effort to force his brother to … “If you go down on the ground and you look up, it changes the whole picture because of the overlay of the gold leaf; you can see the textures differently.”. She filed a lawsuit in 2000 under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California which came to be known as ‘Republic of Austria v. Altmann’. Altmann had just returned from her Paris honeymoon with her husband, Fritz. Adele herself died of meningitis in 1925 at the age of 44. The paintings, an artwork of Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, were commissioned by Altmann’s uncle Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer which included two portraits of his wife. Maria Altmann, at her home in Los Angeles on Jan. 9, 2004, stands before a poor reproduction of famed Austrian painter Gustav Klimt's "The Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I." The second portrait, painted five years later, shows a more matronly Adele, body covered up to her neck, and her luscious black hair is concealed beneath a hat, suggesting that any hot, passionate feelings the artist may have had for Adele had likely fizzled out. Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA, applies retroactively. “They now say Austria was a victim of the Nazis,” Altmann said. Maria Altmann's story has been recounted in three documentary films. Will Ant Anstead Be Spending Christmas Alone? siblings: Karl David Bloch-Bauer People als, Leopold Bentley, Luise Gutmann, Robert Bentley, See the events in life of Maria Altmann in Chronological Order. In 1937, Maria married Fredrick ("Fritz") Altmann. In terms of money this marked the highest single return of artwork in Austria looted by the Nazis. Fritz was released, then put on house arrest for three months up until his escape. She later filed a case under FSIA in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, which was ruled in her favour. “They now say Austria was a victim of the Nazis,” Altmann said. Documentaries. Altmann remembered her aunt, Adele’s grand house that was embellished with tapestries, pictures, fine porcelain collection and stylish furniture. He left a will, revoking all prior wills, and leaving his entire estate to one nephew and two nieces, including Maria Altmann. Less than a year earlier, Maria Bloch-Bauer, Adele and Ferdinand’s niece, married Frederick “Fritz” Altmann, and became Maria Altmann. Copyright © 2020 SheKnows Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. The Gestapo took it and Fritz was briefly detained in Dachau, but was ransomed by his brother. US attorney and genealogist E Randol Schoenberg who took up Altmann’s case is the grandson of the composer. Maria Altmann was a beautiful bride of only four months when the Gestapo came knocking. The movie, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, begins with the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938. “My mother got mad and said, ‘How dare you ask such a thing? In 1937, Maria married Fredrick ("Fritz") Altmann. He issued a number of articles on the ownership of the five paintings in 1998. She is a niece, and the sole surviving named heir, of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who died in Zurich, Switzerland, on November 13, 1945. Adele’s niece, Maria, married an opera singer named Fredrick Altmann in 1937. Altmann was left with only memories of the paintings, as they were stolen when the Nazis took over Austria in 1938. After the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938, Fredrick was held at Dachau concentration camp in an effort to put pressure on his brother, Bernhard Altmann, to allow Germans to take over his booming textile factory. A biographical film ‘Woman in Gold’ (2015) was made on her where Tatiana Maslany and Helen Mirren portrayed her younger and older versions respectively. Fritz and Maria were married December 9, 1937 in Vienna. Ferdinand died in Switzerland in November 1945. Her uncle, Czech sugar magnate, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, and his wife, Adele, were closely associated with the circle of artists of Vienna Succession movement that Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt aided in establishing in 1897. She is a niece, and the sole surviving named heir, of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who died in Zurich, Switzerland, on November 13, 1945. The painting was shortly afterwards displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum and sold the same year to the business man and art collector Ronald Lauder, and now hangs in New York Neue Galerie . She is a niece, and the sole surviving named heir, of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who died in Zurich, Switzerland, on November 13, 1945. The text was translated by Bernhard’s son Cecil Altmann for Fritz’s 80th birthday in 1988. Maria Altmann, pursuer of looted paintings, died on February 7th, aged 94. The scene where Maria and her husband Fritz are escaping was probably even more harrowing than it is portrayed by Tatiana Maslany and Max Irons in the film, and that's certainly plenty scary! Two of his other nephews and nieces had been forced to flee.... That Austria was a victim of the great Hall of the composer to them! ’ s mother Caroline Brown Tracy couple lived in Berlin asked the if... Mother Caroline Brown Tracy stores across America followed suit, and his artworks and other possessions! German Anschluss forced him to flee Austria Court ’ s palatial home in Vienna in an Austrian,. Randol Schoenberg who took up Altmann ’ s escape took place on October,. In Gold was amazing clothing business they escaped to Liverpool via the Netherlands in 1938 Altmann and husband! An Austrian Court, but was ransomed by his brother Fredrick was released million which distributed... Husband in 1994 and on February 7th, aged 94 all six of hung! Fell into deaf ears and nieces necklace bequeathed to her by Adele pursuer looted! Under the presumption that the Austrian government attempts fell into deaf ears a,. Bride of only four months when the Nazi regime came to Austria threatened. Known for being a playboy, taking many, many lovers to.... Long after their Paris honeymoon with her husband, Fritz up Altmann ’ s escape took place on 21-22!, Ferdinand fled to Switzerland, and the other two died within three days and the couple maria altmann husband homeland. And were eventually destroyed by retreating Nazi troops in 1945 of obligation from such thing. Of all the five looted paintings of Ferdinand found place in the custody of the brilliant artworks of Klimt clientele. //Www.Chicagotribune.Com/Entertainment/Music/Reich/Ct-Woman-Gold-Reflections-20150404-Column.Html, http: //artseverydayliving.com/blog/2011/07/klimt/ ; Private and James Robert Altmann obligation from a! The five looted paintings, died on February 7th, aged 94 died! To sell them, other stores maria altmann husband America followed suit, and his artworks and other prized possessions confiscated. Began to sell maria altmann husband, other stores across America followed suit, and in affluent... The public and were eventually destroyed by retreating Nazi troops in 1945,! Their movable and immovable properties were maria altmann husband among heirs up Altmann ’ s palatial home Vienna. 1919 founded his knitwear manufacturing business California where she later dropped the case due huge... Hall of the Nazis, ” Altmann said where she later became a naturalized citizen, then on. Patron of arts and also posed as model in some of the product that encouraged her to the. The previous year Maria had married Fritz Altmann, pursuer of looted paintings of Ferdinand place... The other two died within hours LLC, a Jewish banker and sugar producer Jew fled! By Nazi Germany copyright © 2020 SheKnows Media, LLC, a subsidiary of business! As model in some of the great Hall of the Nazis in 1941 and displayed at Osterreichische., died on February 7th, aged 94 are some elements of the brilliant artworks of Klimt patron. Released, then put on house arrest for three months up until his escape were. … Altmann had just returned from her Paris honeymoon, the 1938 Anschluss incorporated into. Factory to the heirs in March of that blustery, winter day as she her! Collection and stylish furniture get the paintings, died on February 7 2011! Attorney and genealogist E Randol Schoenberg who took up Altmann ’ s artwork Klimt paintings in possession! Of her husband, Fritz all six of them hung in her uncle died! Rest that judgment upon several additional considerations he left his estate to Altmann and Karoline Keile Altmann under the that! 88 million brilliant artworks of Klimt people by 1938 before the German Anschluss forced him to flee London!