Film to Portray Klimt 'Adele'

A new film covering the subject of Nazi looted art is about to go into pre-production in Hollywood. This time it will star Dame Helen Mirren.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are enjoying the current spate of war-related art movies.

The award winning actress will play the Jewish WWII survivor, Maria Altmann, who fled from Germany to Liverpool in 1938 and then moved to Los Angeles in 1940. She died in 2011.

The film is based on the true story of the niece of the prominent Austrian collector, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. A Altmann took the Austrian government to court over the ownership of a masterpiece by Gustav Klimt, that was stolen from her wealthy family during the Second World War.

The painting wound up in the collection of an Austrian museum and was the subject of ongoing litigation for several years.

Secessionist Masterpiece

The 1907 Gustav Klimt painting, 'Portrait of Adele', depicts Altmann's Aunt with a gold leaf background in the popular Secessionist style of the period.

Klimt took three years to complete the painting; preliminary drawings for it date from 1903/4. It measures 54" x 54" and is made of oil and gold on canvas, showing elaborate and complex ornamentation as seen in the Jugendstil style.

The picture was commissioned by Adele's husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. Aa wealthy industrialist who had made his fortune in the sugar industry. Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt when he completed a second picture of her, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, in 1912.

Adele Bloch-Bauer, in her will, asked her husband to donate the Klimt paintings to the Austrian State Gallery upon his death.

She died in 1925 from meningitis. When the Nazis took over Austria, her widowed husband had to flee to Switzerland. His property, including the Klimt paintings, was confiscated. In his 1945 testament, Bloch-Bauer designated his nephew and nieces, including Maria Altmann, as the inheritors of his estate.

The painting was returned to Altmann in 2006, who then sold it at auction for $135m to cosmetics heir, Leonard Lauder. Lauder is one of the world's top collectors of Seccesionism, and German Expressionism.

The painting now hangs, shown above, in the Neue Gallery in Manhattan, a private museum founded by the Estée Lauder family.

The film, Woman in Gold, will be produced by The Weinstein Company who also produced the, not so successful, Monuments Men, a film about Nazi looted art and the experts who tracked down plundered masterpieces at the end the WWII.

The current film will be directed by Simon Curtis who previously directed, My Week With Marilyn. The film will also star Ryan Reynolds and Rush star Daniel Bruhl.