Friederike-Maria Beer had already been painted in 1914 by Schiele, to whom she was physically rather attracted. Her portrait shows an anguished figure, bent in a Z-shaped standing position, wearing a dress with a zigzag pattern.
Friederike-Maria suggested to Klimt that he paint her in a dress from the Vienna Atelier; she wore only one. She was also very proud of a fur coat she owned, especially during the harshness of the First World War, and Klimt decided that she should also wear this coat, but inside out, so that the decorative lining, also made by the Vienna Atelier, would be visible. See more
Klimt decided to use an imaginary oriental screen as a backdrop for her symmetrical and somewhat passive face. The scenes of fighting on horseback are taken from a Korean vase belonging to Klimt and clearly refer to the First World War. The ferocious activity of these artificial figures contrasts sharply with the docility of the model.
Coming from a modest family, his father being a gilder, Gustav Klimt entered the Vienna School of Applied Arts in 1876. He continued his studies there until 1883. In 1879, he participated in the organisation of the Festzug (silver wedding of the imperial couple) under the direction of Hans Makart.
In 1883 he founded a decoration workshop with his brother Ernst Klimt and his fellow student Franz Matsch. See more
He decorated the ceilings of the Fiume Theatre in 1883, the Villa Hermes in Lainz, the Carlsbad Theatre in 1886 and the Burgtheater staircase from 1886 to 1888.
In 1900, Klimt's fresco entitled "Philosophy", considered an outrage to public morality, caused a scandal.
Gustav Klimt exhibited the fresco "Medicine" in 1901, which prompted an appeal from his patron in the Chamber of Deputies, Minister of Education von Harten.
This was followed by the culmination of the paintings on a golden background with "Danaë" and "The Kiss", two works presented at the Kunstschau, the first group exhibition by Klimt and his friends since the withdrawal of the Secession.
In 1911, Klimt travels to Rome, Brussels, London and Madrid.
Klimt died in Vienna on February 6, 1918 of a stroke, leaving many paintings unfinished.
"There is no self-portrait of me. I am not interested in my own person as an "object of representation", but in other beings, especially women, and even more so in apparitions". Gustav Klimt.