Oskar Kokoschka

Alma Mahler

About this artwork

From 1910 to 1914 Kokoschka painted a remarkable series of portraits which expose the inner life of his sitters. Alma Mahler (1879 - 1964) was the muse of some of the great early-twentieth-century artists. Klimt fell in love with her but was ultimately spurned and the composer Gustav Mahler was her first husband. Kokoschka was her lover after Mahler's death. The artist met Alma Mahler in April 1912 and they immediately embarked upon a turbulent love affair. He painted several portraits of her and a celebrated oil, 'The Tempest', which depicts the couple together on a stormy sea.

see media
  • title:
    Alma Mahler
  • accession number:
    GMA 3037
  • artist:
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Black chalk on paper
  • date created:
    About 1913
  • measurements:
    39.20 x 31.50 cm (framed: 60.80 x 54.50 x 3.40 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1987
  • copyright:
    © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/ DACS 2018.
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka

Kokoschka studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna from 1905 to 1909, where he also worked for the Wiener Werkstätte (Viennese Workshops). Although his early work was part of the 'art nouveau' movement in Vienna, he soon developed into Austria's leading expressionist painter, specialising in disturbing psychological portraits. After being invalided out of the army during the First World War, Kokoschka was based mainly in Dresden until 1923. He travelled until 1930, and from 1931 to 1934 returned to live in his native Vienna. In 1934 he moved to Prague, where he took out Czech citizenship. After the Munich Agreement of September 1938, he was forced to flee to London with his future wife, Olda Palkovska. He became a British citizen in 1947, and lived mainly in Switzerland after 1953.