This is one of the most lavish portraits painted by Klimt. Adele Bloch-Bauer (1882-1925) came from a wealthy Viennese banking family and married Ferdinand Bloch (1864-1945), an older banker and sugar manufacturer. The Blochs were major collectors of Klimt’s works. Adele is set against a gold background similar to the form of a Byzantine icon panel or mosaic. She is heavily adorned not only with decoration in gold, but also patterns in silver and different colours. Her body merges with the gold background. The ostentatious materials and prolific decoration remove Adele from the world of reality and transform her into a piece of jewel in the world of fantasy. Klimt had likely sought inspiration from different sources, such as the golden mosaics from Byzantium art in Ravenna, the repeated coils and whorls from Mycenaean and the gold and patterns from Japanese art. Klimt combines the relatively naturalistic representations of the face, shoulders and hands of Adele with the play of elaborated patterns. This work shows the potential of the use of abstract forms.