Annabel's reopens with an immersive Gustav Klimt exhibition

Klimt’s golden girls brought to life! Private members’ club Annabel’s recreates the painters famous works for an ‘immersive art experience’ to welcome guests back on 17 May

  • Mayfair-based members’s club Annabel’s will fully reopen its doors for indoor dining and socialising on 17 May with tribute painter Gustav Klimt 
  • The club will be decorated with interpretations of Klimt’s famous paintings and serve cocktails inspired by Austrian painter’s Golden Period 
  • Club will pay tribute to famous works such as The Kiss, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and Medicine 
  • Arriving guests will walk under a ‘Tree of Life’ archway, one of Klimt’s most recognisable paintings 

Known for its extravagant Christmas decor and lavish interiors, private members club Annabel’s is going all out to impress for its grand reopening next week, with a celebration of the painter Gustav Klimt.  

The Mayfair-based club, beloved of royalty, reopened The Garden outdoor area last month, but will welcome back guests for indoor dining and socialising on 17 May with an ‘immersive art experience’ highlighting the Golden Period of the Austrian painter. 

Annabel’s luxurious premises will get the Klimt treatment with some of his most well-known works, including Danaë, The Kiss and Medicine recreated around the club until the end of May. 

Even the cocktail menu will get a Klimt revamp, with drinks named after the painter’s works.  

Mayfair-based club will fully reopen its door on 17 May for indoor socialising with an ‘immersive art experience’ highlighting the Golden Period of the Austrian painter with recreations of famous paintings such as Medicine (pictured)  

The whole Annabel’s club, located on Berkeley Square, has been turned into a walk-through Gustav Klimt painting. 

On arrival, well-heeled guests will walk under a ‘Tree of Life’ archway, one of Klimt’s most recognisable paintings. 

A Tree of Life sculpture will be on show in the club’s reception area, and throughout the rest of the building, ‘interpretations’ of Klimt’s work will also be on show for guests to admire. 

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of the painter’s most recognisable works, with the poster gracing countless bedroom walls. Ahead of the event, Annabel’s has brought Klimt’s works to life by recreating some of its most known titles, including The Kiss (right)

A model recreates one of the portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer, commissioned by her husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer in 1903 and completed in 1907

Annabel’s has put together a drinks menu themed around Klimt’s and his many mesmerising works, in hues of gold, to keep with the Golden Period theme. 

One of the cocktails, named The Judith, consists of Hennessy Cognac, Galliano L’Autentico, Lemon Foam and Smoked Paprika. 

Ahead of the exhibition, Annabel’s enlisted models to recreate some of Klimt’s celebrated works, bringing the art to life in tasteful portraits taken around the club. 

The London destination has been a high society hot spot since it opened its doors in 1963, named the wife of owner Mark Birley, Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart.

Klimt had a 12-year relationship with Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a prominent banker and subject of one of his most famous paintings, which is recreated by a model in a plunging gold dress 

Hygieia as symbol of the medical faculty. Part of the ceiling of the festival room of the university of Vienna. The painting was destroyed by a fire in castle Immendorf in 1945. Oil on Canvas by Gustav Klimt, circa 1907 (left). Right:  A model recreates Medecine in Annabel’s Jungle Room. The original Medicine work was destroyed by the Nazis in 1945, and only a black and white print survived

Who was Gustav Klimt – the painter with a ‘ferocious sexual appetite’? 

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter from Vienna who lived from 1862 to 1918. 

The painter, who was of the Symbolist movement, is known for its murals and sketches. 

His favourite subject was the female body and he was known to have a ferocious sexual appetite and such a physical magnetism and ‘strong animal smell’ that, after desporting themselves for their maestro’s art, his models would humour him, in pretty much any way he chose.

Some of his most famous paintings are from his Golden Period, such as The Kiss and Medecine. 

Klimt’s work was conventional at the beginning of his artistic career, but as he progressed, his work became more surrealist and symbolic. 

He never married. He had endless affairs — including a 12-year relationship with Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a prominent banker and subject of one of his most famous paintings, but never even lived with a partner and allegedly fathered up to 14 illegitimate children. 

Klimt died in Vienna, after suffering a stroke and pneumonia in 1918, but it wasn’t until the Fifties and Sixties, and the dawn of the sexual revolution, that his work — and its monetary value — really took off.

His painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I sold for a record £100 million in 2006.

The couple later split, but the splendour of Annabel’s remained, hosting the cream of the crop, from the Rolling Stones to royalty. 

The Queen even made an appearance at the prized club in 2003, where she had a dry martini in what is thought to be her only visit to a nightclub ever. 

Her former daughter-in-law Princess Diana was a regular at Soho haunt, and the tradition of grand guests follows Annabel’s to this day. 

The all-day, all-night club counts a select clientele, with Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice,  singer Ellie Goulding and stylish Alexa Chung have favoured the Mayfair destination. 

It’s also a hot concert haunt, and big jazz names have performed within its walls, from Ray Charles to Ella Fitzgerald. 

Tina Turner also had a show at Annabel’s, while more recently, it was Lady Gaga who delighted fans with a performance at the listed building.

Until 2018, the club was located at 44 Berkeley Square, but it then relocated two doors down, to number 46.

In 2007, business Tycoon Richard Caring, who owns other select location The Ivy, bought Annabel’s  in a deal that was thought top be worth £90million. 

The select club is one of the capital’s prized jewels and every one wants in: the waiting list is numbering in the thousands.

The members’ club’s bathroom is one of the most Instagram-friendly loos in London, and has pink onyx basins carved in the shape of oyster shells, complete with gold swan taps to  greet you as you walk in. 

Along with Murano-glass light fittings, there’s a carpet of silk peonies on the ceiling, it’s perfect fodder for the Instagram feeds of the one per cent.   

Another recreation of Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer taken in Anneble’s nightclub ahead of the event, featuring a model posing in the club’s famously luxurious interior 

Here, a model posing in Annabel’s powder room recreates Water Serpent II, an oil painting completed by Klimt in 1907 as a follow up to his painting Water Serpent I

Water Serpents I, by Klimt (left), recreated in Annabel’s nightclub. The exhibition will take place from May 17 until the end of the month of May

Danae, and Argive princess in Greek mythology, painted by Klimt in 1907. Right: A recreation taken in the Art Bar at Annabel’s  

As well as the exhibition, Annabel’s have created a golden drinks menu inspired by Klimt’s work, including The Judith, made with Hennessy Cognac, Galliano L’Autentico, Lemon Foam and Smoked Paprika

A look at the building Annabel’s is set at, left, which is located at 46 Berkeley Square, in Soho, London

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