Mäda Gertrude Primavesi

Portrait of artist Anton Hanak

c. 1910-15, 

pencil on paper

Mäda Gertrude Primavesi (Olmütz, now in Czech Republic 1903-2000)
Portrait of artist Anton Hanak (Austrian, 1875-1934)
circa 1910-1915
pencil on paper
28 x 12 cm
verso inscribed "M. Primavesi"
The Daulton Collection


Estate of architect/designer Josef Hoffmann


Mäda Gertrude Primavesi was one of the four children of the businessman Otto Primavesi and his wife Eugenia Primavesi, née Butschek, a former actress. Otto Primavesi came from one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Moravia. He owned several companies in the sugar and textile industries and also had his own bank.  He and his wife Eugenia, who were ardent supporters of progressive Vienese art and design at the beginning of the 20th century.  Their social circle included Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, and Anton Hanak, among other cultural luminaries. 

 Hoffmann designed the family's country house in Winkelsdorf near Schönberg in Moravia, (nowadays Kouty nad Desnou near Sumperk in the Czech Republic); and in 1914 Otto Primavesi took over as business manager of the design company the "Wiener Werkstätte" (Vienna Workshop), which had been co-founded by Hoffmann in 1903.  The Primavesis regularly invited artists, including Hanak, to stay at their country house for salon-like gatherings; and this is likely where the young Mäda sketched this charming portrait of Hanak.

Between 1913 and 1914, Klimt painted Primavesi's wife, Eugenia (her portrait is now in the Toyota Museum of Art, Japan).  And as early as 1912, Otto also commissioned Klimt to paint his young daughter, Mäda.  Klimt's portrait of nine-year-old Mäda, his only major work featuring a child, is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (since 1964).  “Mäda Primavesi was, by her own account, an independent, assertive young girl,” wrote The Metropolitan Museum, "qualities amply captured in his [Klimt's] portrait of her." Mäda ― who died in 2000 ― was the last living subject of one of Klimt’s works.

Gustav Klimt
Portrait of Mäda Primavesi
oil on canvas 
149,9 x 110,5 cm 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Jack Daulton
The Daulton Collection
Los Altos Hills, California