Although Alma Mahler has fallen into obscurity today, there was no one in the golden age of Vienna who didn’t know her name—and her salacious reputation. She rose to prominence as “merely” the wife of the famous composer Gustav Mahler, but it wasn’t long before the world found out all the devilish secrets she hid behind her angelic face.

1. She Was Artistic Royalty

As the daughter of the famous Viennese landscape painter Emil Schindler, Alma Mahler had artistic genius in her blood—she herself composed on the piano from an extremely young age. But from the beginning, there was a dark side to her. Spoiled and privileged, Alma’s family expected big things and advantageous marriages from their little girl. Well, they soon learned to be careful what they wished for.

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