Gustav Klimt wearing his Painter's Coat in front of his Studio, holding one of his Cats, c. 1912

Gustav Klimt wearing his Painter's Coat in front of his Studio, holding one of his Cats c. 1912
© IMAGNO / Austrian Archives (AA)

The Artist’s Studio

For most of his career Gustav Klimt used two principal studios. The first, from 1892 to 1914, was in Josefstädterstrasse in the relatively central Josefstadt district, the second, from 1914 to 1918, in Feldmühlgasse in the more remote Hietzing district. Each comprised a studio, one or more anterooms for entertaining patrons and other guests, and access to a ‘wild’ garden.

In 1903–04 Fritz Waerndorfer commissioned Josef Hoffmann and the Wiener Werkstätte to produce a suite of black-stained oak studio furniture for Klimt, including a wall unit in which to store his Asian collection, a cabinet, a table (on display) and a pair of chairs. Klimt had a passion for collecting ethnographic objects, finding inspiration for his art in many different cultures and civilisations. Elsewhere in the studio could be found several pieces of African carved wood sculpture, a Japanese noh mask, and Buddha figures. The bold decoration of the Chinese and Indian silks he also kept helped to inspire many paintings from his ‘golden period’, while oriental pieces, such as the Chinese painting, on display, provided inspiration for the colourful ornamental backdrops of Klimt’s late female portraits. 

On account of its relative remoteness and the artist’s growing reputation as a ‘recluse’, Klimt’s studio had already begun to intrigue during his lifetime. Following his death a number of published accounts helped maintain popular interest in the house and garden at Feldmühlgasse. Among the most vivid is that of close friend Egon Schiele, which urges Klimt’s friends to purchase the studio and to preserve it exactly as Klimt had left it, for it was in itself ‘a work of art’. Schiele painted The Hermits (Self-Portrait with Gustav Klimt) in 1912 as homage to their friendship.

Works on display

  • GK” Monograph Stamp
  • African Figure with Crossed Hands
  • African Figure with Nail
  • Buddha
  • Catalogue for the Kunstschau 1908
  • Drawing folder from the Estate of Gustav Klimt
  • Drawing Folder owned by Gustav Klimt, from the Estate of R. Zimpel
  • Female Figure of an Ancestor late 19th C
  • Moritz Nähr Gustav Klimt wearing his Painter’s Coat in front of his Studio, holding one of his Cats c.1912
  • No Mask
  • Oskar Münsterberg, Japanische Kunstgeschichte, 3 Bände, Braunschweig 1904–7
  • Overalls Owned by Gustav Klimtc.1903/li>
  • Pauline Hamilton Photograph of Gustav Klimt in Profile c.1909
  • Pauline Hamilton Photograph of Gustav Klimt in the Garden of his Studio c.1909
  • Anton Trcka Photograph of Gustav Klimt with his Working Dress 1914
  • Photograph of the Naschmarkt with the Secession circa 1900
  • Postcard from Gustav Klimt sent from Litzlberg at the Attersee 1904
  • Postcard from Gustav Klimt sent from Seewalchen at the Attersee 1905
  • Josef Hoffmann Pot with Lid from the Estate of Gustav Klimt 1912
  • Smiling Buddha
  • Soap Stone Stamp with Animal Motifs
  • Josef Hoffmann Table from the Studio of Gustav Klimt 1904
  • Egon Schiele The Hermits (Self-Portrait with Gustav Klimt) 1912
  • Dora Kallmus (d´Ora) Three photographs of Gustav Klimt 1908–9
  • Zeitkunst Wien 1901-1907 signed by Bertha Zuckerkandl 1908
  • Catalogue for the International Art Exhibition, Rome 1911
  • Chinese Painting late 19th C