Painting: Love Letters in Pictures

Some love affairs, like stately quin-queremes, sail serenely on for decades. Others founder in tempests of selfishness, or rocks of jealousy. In her 1958 memoirs, Vienna's Alma Schindler Mahler Gropius Werfel recalled her three-year affair with Painter Oskar Kokoschka as "one fierce battle of love. Never before had I tasted so much tension, so much hell, so much paradise." Never after ward, she might have added, did she in spire so many fascinating and often memorable works of art.

Among them were seven intricately painted swanskin fans that Kokoschka decorated for her between...

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