Alma Mahler

Mainly known as the wife of leading Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, she was also undoubtedly a significant figure of the Viennese Secession, adored by many for her beauty, intelligence and musical talent. Born in Vienna to the prominent family of landscape painter Emil Jakob Schindler, Alma was raised among the elite of her time. Before marrying Mahler in 1902, she was often seen with Gustav Klimt, Max Burckhard and Alexander von Zemlinsky. With Mahler, Alma had two daughters, one of whom died at the age of five. In the wake of depression, she had an affair with young architect Walter Gropius. In 1910, when her husband changed his attitude towards her music, Alma was able to prepare five of her songs for publication. Later, the widowed Alma had an affair with Oskar Kokoschka, inspiring some of his great paintings. She eventually married Gropius in 1915, though her last love was poet Franz Werfel. They emigrated together in 1938, first to France, then to the USA. There’s a film, 'Bride of the Wind', based on the story of Alma's life.