Emilie Flöge was an Austrian fashion designer and the life companion, friend of Gustav Klimt.
Their relationship was extremely unusual: they were romantic partners that never got married nor had children, and maintened a level of independence unprecedented for the time.
Flöge had been producing cutting-edge designs in Vienna, already carving out new roles for women with her empire-waist garments, wide sleeves and intricately-detailed panels inspired by Hungarian embroidery.
Klimt died from a stroke in 11th January 1918. His last words reportedly were, “Get Emilie”. She inherited half of Klimt’s estate the other half gong to the painter’s family.
Experts believe that Klimt’s painting The Kiss (1908) shows the artist and Emilie as lovers.
Gustav Klimt: Portrait of Emilie Flöge (1902)
Oil on canvas, 178×80, Vienna Museum