The New York Times reported Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I has been purchased by cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder for $135 million for his Neue Galeries, the highest amount ever paid for a painting on June 19, 2006, so that this painting was the most expensive oil painting all over the world which was lasting 4 months.
This art work was painted by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt (he took 3 years to finish it completely) for Sugar industrialist Bloch Bauer’s wife, Adele Bloch-Bauer (she is the only icon Klimt painted twice, the other painting name portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II) on 1907. This painting was also called the Austrian Mona Lisa, or the Golden Adele due to the painter used embossed, gilding painting techniques on canvas during the creation, which depicted an elegant young lady with blurred eyes in well dress and make-up in the splendid surroundings. Besides its artistic value (the painter used many new painting techniques in it, like mosaics), it is well-known to people by its scandalous ownership history. Upon her death, Adele Bloch-Bauer wished the painting to be donated to the Austrian State Gallery, while it was seized by the advancing German forces in World War II. In 1945, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer (the sugar industrialist) designated his nephew and nieces, including Maria Altman as the inheritors of his estate while the Austrian government took the ownership of this painting away. So there was a long court battle about the ownership of this painting which ended and returned to Altman family in 2006.