An elegant reimagining of the life of Alma Mahler, the lovely, aristocratic fin-de-siècle composer who abandoned her own art to become the inspiration and collector of geniuses.
At the turn of the century, "the most beautiful girl in Vienna" stood at the threshold of a promising musical career. But instead, she turned her considerable talents to becoming a freelance muse. Passionate, fickle, brilliant, and alcoholic, she conquered a series of difficult geniuses, including the composer Gustav Mahler (whom she sent to Freud for marriage counseling); the architect Walter Gropius, who went on to found the Bauhaus movement; the writer Franz Werfel, author of The Song of Bernadette; and the revolutionary painters Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka.
Deftly bling period detail and modern sensibility, Max Phillips presents the bold, unapologetic Alma, who narrates her own provocative story, bringing to life the luminaries of her era as she tells of her triumphs in the fading elegance of Central Europe's beau monde, her flight from Hitler's Anschluss, and her exile in golden-age Hollywood. A glittering, darkly sensual novel, The Artist's Wife turns the lens of history upon the nature of inspiration, ambition, and love.