Where is "The Kiss"? A guide to all works by Gustav Klimt in Vienna

Gustav Klimt’s artworks are one of the reasons why millions of tourists visit the capital of Austria every year. Whether it’s good or bad, but there is not a single “Klimt Museum” in Vienna. So if you want to see his paintings, it will have to visit a few museums.

Since Klimt was born and died in Vienna, one can spend days going from one city museum to the next in an attempt to see everything. If this is precisely what you are going to do, you will find this list useful.

1. The Upper Belvedere / Schloss Belvedere

It is the Belvedere Palace where the famous Judith and The Kiss are displayed. The same collection used to have the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I that was moved to the Neue Galerie New York in 2006 after it was sold by Maria Altmann, the heiress of the Bloch-Bauer family. Now, you can only see the three “golden” paintings together on the umbrellas from souvenir shops.

The Kiss is the main tourist attraction of the Belvedere, and it’s impossible to miss it since all the museum signs point towards the famous piece. However, this renown double portrait isn’t the only reason to visit the Belvedere. Recently acquired from a private collection The Portrait of Marie Kerner can also be found here, as well as the portraits of society ladies, meditative Attersee landscapes, and the unfinished The Bride and Adam and Eve that were left behind when he was taken to a hospital.

Nevertheless, context is the most important aspect of this museum. Even though the new exposition has been deprived of almost all academic pieces, it’s still easy to get a good idea of Klimt’s predecessors, as well as of his contemporaries.

Address: Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien
Opening hours: daily 9:00-18:00. Friday until 21:00.
Official website of the Belvedere Gallery

2. The Leopold Museum

Death and Life is the most precious piece by Klimt in the collection of the Leopold Museum. The last piece of the “Golden Period” is surrounded by Klimt’s early realistic portraits, works by his brother Ernst, and several documents. Several landscape works demonstrating the artist’s path towards abstraction are also on display.

The Leopold Museum also reconstructed the scandalous Faculty Paintings from photographs and exhibits them in a separate room accompanied by the devastating criticism of Klimt’s contemporaries. The context surrounding Klimt’s works is shaped by his Secession comrades, and the pieces on display depicting the cultural and social life have the specific air of that short and bright period of Fin de Siècle. Yet one more reason to see Klimt’s paintings against the backdrop of the masterpieces by Wagner, Loos, Moser, Schiele is that his creative pursuit doesn’t look as lonely as in the Belvedere.

Address: Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Tuesday 10:00-18:00. Thursdays until 21:00
Official website of the the Leopold Museum

3. The Vienna Museum / Wien Museum

(the museum is under renovation until 2022, its collection is being temporarily exhibited all over the world)

One more museum displaying diverse works by Klimt is the Vienna Museum. Admirers of Klimt come here to see the portrait of his muse, companion, friend, and lover, Emilie Flöge. The Vienna Museum also exhibits Pallas Athene, the symbol of Secession, and several portraits of the ladies whose names we no longer know thanks to which Klimt was first nicknamed “the painter of beautiful women”. These works can be found in the historical section of Art Nouveau era.

The collection also includes drawings and the portrait of Vienna society by Klimt that has a high historical value. Auditorium in the Old Palace Theatre in Vienna (the permanent exposition features a facsimile of this painting) is a way to preserve the architecture in eternity and a miniature portrait of every significant person in Vienna in 1888.

Address: 1040 Vienna, Karlsplatz 8
Opening hours: temporary closed for renovations
Official website of the Vienna City Museum

4. Vienna Secession / Wiener Secession

If you prefer to view Klimt outside of any context, do not wish to compare different periods, and would rather see “pure” Klimt, go to the Secession Exhibition Hall. This is where you will find the Beethoven Frieze, an in-situ piece that is displayed exactly in the place it was made for originally. Even though the Secession Building was constructed by architect Joseph Maria Olbrich, it is known that Klimt took part in designing it. I believe it is necessary to see the Beethoven Frieze under the famous phrase “To every age its art, to every art its freedom” to understand and to feel the idea and aesthetics of the “young art”.

In line with this motto, the main exhibition halls of the Secession Building are occupied by temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists, while Klimt’s pieces can be viewed in the basement.

You can take an audio guide at the ticket counter to listen to the great commentary regarding the allegories present in the Frieze. However, if you prefer the language of music, put on the earphones provided in the hall to relish the Ode to Joy and instinctively guess the wall figures to look at.

Address: Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Tuesday 10:00-18:00.
Official website of the Secession

5. Theatre Museum / Theatermuseum

If you are ready to chase important Klimt’s works one by one, find some time to visit this museum. Nuda Veritas was bought by Hermann Bahr, a dramatist and critic, which is why today, this painting lives in Palais Lobkowitz of the Austrian Theatre Museum.

Nuda Veritas is a programmatic piece manifesting through Schiller’s words the unacceptability of the excessive popularity of good art. Nevertheless, it didn’t prevent Klimt from creating his most golden works after this manifesto.

Address: Lobkowitzpl. 2, 1010 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Tuesday 10:00-18:00.
Official website of the Theatre Museum

6. Burgtheater

It is worth visiting Burgtheater if you wish to see the decorative pieses Klimt started his career with. This is the place to see the works he created soon after graduating from an art school, when he looked forward to receiving a good pay along with his brother Ernst and Franz von Matsch rather than starting an aesthetic revolution.

The young artists distinguished themselves when painting the interior so much that they even earned an honorary award from the emperor. Gustav Klimt painted four out of ten scenes embellishing the front doors. You will find the scene depicting the English drama especially interesting. In the painting, Queen Elizabeth is looking at the death of Romeo and Juliet, while Klimt and his friends themselves can be seen in the audience. This is the only self-portrait by Klimt (it’s difficult to recognize him in The Kiss, this is only a speculation of art historians) made for the purpose of self-promotion.

To see these paintings, come for the daily theater guided tour or a performance.

Address: Universitätsring 2, 1010 Wien
Guided tour starts daily at 15:00
Official website of the Burgtheater

7. Vienna Art History Museum / Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

If you don’t want to go to the theatre for the sake of interior paintings, you can also find Klimt’s works in the interiors of the Museum of Fine Arts.

During anniversaries, the museum even sets up the scaffolds so that the admirers could climb higher and have a closer look at the paintings, which the artist couldn’t have anticipated. Nevertheless, you can make an effort and distinguish the works by Gustav and Ernst Klimt and their colleague Matsch while standing in the grand staircase. Even though the artists tried to maintain the same style, it’s easy to see which works deserve the most admiration.

Address: Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Monday 10:00-18:00. Thursdays until 21:00
Official website of the Vienna Art History Museum

8. Museum of Applied Arts / Museum für angewandte Kunst

You will find the cartoons for the mosaic friezes of the Stoclet Palace in the permanent exposition of the Museum of Applied Arts. They blend in seamlessly with the furniture and chinaware of the Viennese artisans. The paper is covered with numerous work notes that always have the charm of an autograph.

The museum also displays Klimt’s Magic Garden, an installation, nearby. Wear augmented reality glasses to wander the smalt streets under silver bells around golden mushrooms. This is a truly addictive experience, and even though the artists were inspired by the cartoons, it is mostly meant for amusement rather than artistic expression.

Address: Stubenring 5, 1010 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Monday 10:00-18:00. Tuesday until 21:00
Official website of the Museum of Applied Arts

9. The Albertina

There are approximately 170 drawings in the Albertina collection, but like all graphic art, they are very fragile. This is why, in the last great hall, you can only find three high-quality facsimiles of the Lady With Plumed Hat and two nudes.

One of his Goldfish is also exhibited together with Rodin and Monet in the “Monet to Picasso” exposition. It’s rather peculiar to see this painting surrounded by the French art that is recognized worldwide, while Klimt is still known as a national Art Nouveau representative despite being quite popular.

Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Wien
Opening hours: daily 10:00-18:00, Wednesday and Friday till 21:00
Оfficial website of the Albertina

In these places you will see most valuable original pieces by Klimt that can still be found in Vienna. If you are fond of reconstructions, you might also like the Hermesvilla and Klimt Villa situated on the outskirts of the city.

Villa Hermes / Hermesvilla

Hermesvilla used to be the country house of the Habsburg family. Nowadays, it is used by the Vienna Museum. Among the luxurious interiors designed by various artists of great local significance, you can also find the restored ceiling painting called The Spring by Klimt, his brother Georg, and their colleague Franz Matsch.

Address: 1130 Wien, Lainzer Tiergarten
Opening hours: daily, except Monday 10:00-18:00
Оfficial website Hermesvilla

The Klimt Villa

The Klimt Villa is the building with the interiors reconstructed to resemble Klimt’s last atelier that used to stand here. Klimt didn’t see the modern-day building, but he used to live in the house that was here before. The villa and the garden full of Klimt’s plants and flowers are beautiful, and if you decide to visit Klimt’s grave that is nearby, you’ll get to explore yet another great district of Vienna.

Address: Feldmühlgasse 11, 1130 Wien
Opening hours: daily, except Monday 10:00-18:00
Official website of Klimt Villa

Once you visit a couple of museums, you will realize that Klimt’s heritage is much more than just melancholic figures against the golden background. Even though his “golden” pieces became famous beyond control while Klimt was still alive, his admirers know that he created much more than just The Kiss, and his œuvre is way more diverse and worthy of your attention. Who knows, maybe it’s the peaceful landscapes or audacious Goldfish that will win your greatest favour.

I added these addresses to the map so that it’s easier for you to navigate the city, and I hope that once you have a look at it, you will agree that there is one museum devoted to Klimt in Austria, after all: its whole capital, Vienna.

карта вены с работами Климта с музеями вены

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