“I thought I would find an interesting turn of the century tale of an artist and his muse.
Instead, it was a compelling social history beginning at the turn of the century Vienna.
It was an exploration of the culture, introducing the reader to the anti-Semitism that permeated the era.
Exploration of the historical and political climate are essential to understanding the trail of Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.
It began as a "glamorous era, peopled by Sigmund Freud, Marlene Dietrich, Hedy Lamar, and Billy Wilder.... An era that had ended with the arrival of Hitler."
We follow the massive theft of art in Europe by the German (Nazi) Government during World War II.
This particular portrait was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and renamed The Lady in Gold (to avoid any hint that its subject was Jewish)
They proudly exhibited it in Vienna's Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution.
The Lady In Gold was finally returned to Bloch-Bauer's heirs in the 21st century.
The years leading to the 21st century are intense, multifaceted and illuminating to the reader.
I finished the nonfiction feeling somewhat haunted and definitely pleased I had chosen to investigate this particular pocket of history..
....a vivid narrative...historically rich in detail...