Gustav Klimt’s name is indelibly associated with Vienna and its art. He was born, lived, worked, and died in the city.
Discover the best places to see his paintings and other creations. And find the main locations relevant to his life and work, including his studios, grave, and final residence.
- See also: Schiele in Vienna
All the places mentioned appear on this map:
Where to see Klimt’s works
If you’re in Vienna and interested in Klimt, then the Upper Belvedere gallery is probably your top priority. The permanent exhibition has The Kiss and other famous Klimt paintings, such as Judith. You won’t be the only one interested in The Kiss, so go early or risk the crowds.
The Leopold Museum is, perhaps, most famous for its Schiele collection. But its Vienna 1900 permanent exhibition includes a section dedicated to Klimt. The numerous works on display include Death and Life. The Klimt area also has an authentic reproduction of his studio and a small room dedicated to the life and work of Klimt’s long-time companion and muse, Emilie Flöge.
The Albertina museum has more art than you can shake a paintbrush at but most of it is kept in storage. Their Klimt collection covers a vast number of drawings, but you may only be able to see one or two in its permanent exhibition. Anything more depends on their current exhibitions – you may get lucky.
The Wien Museum (i.e. Museum of Vienna) has the years around 1900 as one of its artistic focal points. This naturally includes Klimt, represented, for example, in his 1902 portrait of Emilie Flöge. There were three other paintings on display when I visited: Love (1895), Portrait of an Unknown Woman (1894) and Pallas Athena (1898).
Unfortunately, the museum recently closed for major redevelopment and won’t reopen until 2022 at the earliest.
The art history museum is better known for its Titians and Tintorettos, but Franz Matsch, Gustav Klimt and Ernst Klimt were commissioned to contribute to the decorative paintings around the huge main staircase.
If you’re lucky, a temporary stairs or viewing scope lets you get up close to Klimt’s work.
The Klimts and Matsch called themselves the Company of Artists; the public commission that really established their careers was a cycle of ceiling paintings from 1887 for the two decorative staircases in the Burgtheater.
You don’t have to watch a play to get inside the building and see the designs – there are guided tours, too.
This was the exhibition building of the famous Secession group of artists co-founded by Klimt. Today, it’s a contemporary art gallery and home to the huge Beethovenfries, completed by Klimt for the 1902 Beethoven Exhibition.
This is a summer residence built in the 1880s for Empress Elisabeth in the Lainzer Tiergarten woodland park and now open to the public. Klimt worked with his brother and Matsch on ceiling paintings you can view in the Empress’s bedroom and salon.
Klimt was born at Linzer Strasse 247 in what is now Vienna’s 14th district. Unfortunately, nothing remains of the original house. His final residence was on Westbahnstraße 36 in the 7th district. There he suffered the stroke that was to prove his undoing (a plaque outside the building marks his stay).
After he fell ill, they took Klimt to the old general hospital on Alser Straße in the 9th district. He died there on February 6th, 1918. The hospital is now a collection of university buildings, bars and shops (and home to a Christmas market).
Klimt is buried in the Hietzinger cemetery in Vienna’s 13th district (Maxingstraße 15), adjoining the grounds of the famous Schönbrunn Palace. He has a well-kept honorary grave (Number 194/195 in Group 5). For details and directions, see the article on Klimt’s grave.
The Klimt Villa
The Klimt Villa was his final studio, which he used from 1911 to 1918. It’s now open to the public as a museum to Klimt’s life, with an authentic recreation of the furniture and decor as it once was.
Other Klimt landmarks
You can’t go into these addresses, but each has some relevance to Klimt’s life.
- Stuckgasse 6: an early studio before the Company of Artists was founded in 1883
- Sandwirtgasse 8: the first joint studio with Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch
- Josefstädter Straße 21: a joint garden studio with the same, which Klimt continued to use after the Company ended in 1892
- Florianigasse 54: an attic studio Klimt rented for completing the controversial Faculty Paintings that were allegedly destroyed by fire at the end of WWII
Residences and haunts
- Burggasse 47: his home prior to Westbahnstraße
- Neubaugasse 54: Klimt lived here during his childhood
- Casa Piccola, Mariahilfer Straße 1a: the fashion house co-run by Emilie Flöge, Klimt’s “life companion”, occupied the floor above the coffeehouse