c. 1893. Oil on cardboard. 41 x 24 cm. Galerie bei der Albertina, Vienna, Austria. Read Note.
Emilie Floge (1874-1952) was Klimt's lifelong companion, mistress and one of his principal heirs. She was born into the family of Hermann Floge, a prosperous pipe manufacturer. It is uncertain when she first met Klimt, but his first portrait of her dates to 1891. She would appear in many of his paintings as both subject and model. That same year Emilie's elder sister Helene married Klimt's younger brother, Ernst.
In 1895, Emilie's eldest sister Pauline Floge opened a school for dressmakers, in which Emilie worked as well. In 1899, the Floge sisters win a dressmaking contest and are commissioned to sew a cambric dress for an exhibition.In 1903, the Floge sisters opened their fashion boutique in Vienna.
After Klimt's death in 1918, Emilie inherited half of his belongings, the other half passing to his family.
In 1938, after the German Anschluss with Austria, the Floge sisters had to close their boutique. Emilie died in 1952, at the age of 78.
See: Gustav Klimt. Portrait of Emilie Flöge. Emilie Flöge, Aged 17.