Idea and realization

Over five years ago, the Klimt Foundation embarked on a search for a contemporary presentation of Gustav Klimt's work and biography. Using today's media and possibilities, the aim was to create a virtual memory of the exceptional artist's work, influence and network - free of charge, barrier-free and accessible online worldwide.

The aim of this ambitious scientific undertaking, which was launched on September 21, 2022 in a first major milestone, was and is to transport Klimt's work in the world of Viennese Modernism with all its phenomena, achievements and personalities - in the "world of yesterday" at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries - into the digital age and to document it in a contemporary way.

The extensive data archive with a contemporary user interface for directories of Klimt's paintings, autographs and photographs is aimed at both the interested public and specialists worldwide. The Klimt database will be continuously expanded over the next few years and is an important scientific online source for research and investigation into Gustav Klimt and his time, in particular the "Vienna 1900" period.

Research materials and intention

The basis for the research work and data structuring was provided by previously published Klimt monographs (H. O. Miethke/H. Heller, E. Pirchan, F. Novotny/J. Dobai, A. Weidinger, T. Natter, A. Strobl, M. Bisanz-Prakken etc.) and existing online artist directories, supplemented by source material from the fields of photography and autographs (W. Fischer, H-J. Krug, A. Husslein etc.) as well as historical catalogs and journals from the holdings of the Klimt Foundation and its project partners. All publications were subjected to a critical review, which in some cases allowed discrepancies to be revised and new findings and attributions to be made. In addition, research platforms such as ANNO (Austrian National Library) and the online library catalog HEIDI (University of Heidelberg) as well as digitally retrievable registration forms, baptism and death registers provided further well-founded and essential content for the Klimt database. It was particularly important to offer a digital tool in the form of the Klimt database, in which the previously isolated published work areas of paintings, autographs, photographs and drawings can be digitally networked and viewed in their entirety.

Over the past five years, around 12 members of staff - historians and art historians - have worked on this project, which is 100% self-financed, focusing on different areas of data collection and research. The aim was and still is to meet the highest quality standards, which is why all data was subjected to multiple critical checks. In addition, the direct linking of the entered data was fundamental, so that users can clearly see the connections of the world artist Klimt in "Vienna 1900".

The different, interlinked contents of the Gustav Klimt database are an absolutely unique selling point. This platform is therefore the first online portal to use texts and selected images to make visible not only the artistic oeuvre of the Art Nouveau painter, but also his private and public life in the socio-political network of this dynamic period. In addition, the digital directories of Klimt's paintings, his photographs and autographs by, to and about the master are an integral part of the database and offer the research community and interested members of the public easier research thanks to their simple and clear handling.


The Gustav Klimt database is accessible to all interested parties; the research section can be used after a one-off, free registration. It can be accessed via standard browsers as well as mobile devices.

The sections

The database currently consists of the following sections
Klimt Works | Network Vienna 1900 | Research.
The platform also contains a detailed biography of Gustav Klimt.

Klimt work

This section is dedicated to all aspects of the Art Nouveau master's artistic work. Illustrated texts explicitly describe and illustrate Klimt's oeuvre - starting with his training, his congenial collaboration with Franz Matsch and his brother Ernst in the "Künstler-Compagnie", the affair surrounding the faculty paintings, his prestigious portrait commissions, his atmospheric landscape paintings and his post-fame and the myth that still surrounds this exceptional artist today.

Klimt's work can be accessed both via the timeline and an index view.

Network Vienna 1900

This section is divided into the categories family & environment, colleagues, patrons, personalities, places and places of activity.
Currently, over 350 personalities who shaped Klimt's private, professional and artistic environment are described and documented in detail, as well as inspiring and inspiring places. This section also provides information about Klimt's travels and the places where he worked, which are regarded as the cradle of "Vienna 1900". In addition, detailed family trees of the most important personalities are available here, further illustrating Klimt's network.

Network Vienna 1900 can be used both via the editorial view and an index view.


This section is a scientific research tool in which the holdings of the non-profit Klimt Foundation and its currently around 80 project partners are processed. Users can conduct research with the help of a global search. A wide range of filter options can be used to increase the level of detail or limit the search results.

A special feature in all research areas is the mutual linking of individual data sets, which illustrates the complex interrelationships and connections and thus presents new, noteworthy aspects of Klimt research. Users are also provided with downloadable data sheets.

Search help

In the Research section, the search field allows you to search the contents of all data fields of the data records simultaneously. When entering a term, the auto-complete function offers relevant search suggestions. In this full-text search, the operator "and" is activated when several terms are entered in succession. The search result returns those data records in which all the terms entered occur, regardless of where they appear in the data record. The search results can be sorted by relevance or by date (descending, ascending). The dating filter also offers the option of restricting the results to after and/or before a date in the format YYYYMMDD (year month day). Further filters can be used to limit the results by type, subject, motif, location, series, creator/artist, owner and variable sub-filters. The number of hits for each result is displayed next to the filters.

List of paintings

Following the principles of a catalogue raisonné, this index lists basic information such as dating, technique, owner and details of the concordances including illustrations for each work. There is also an exhibition history documenting the presentation of Klimt's paintings in Germany and abroad. Information on relevant literature is also provided.

Provenance information is noted for the Klimt Foundation paintings. This content will be successively expanded to include paintings from other institutions once they have been released.

Index of photographs

In addition to the exhibition documentation for the paintings, this section lists photographs showing works of art by Gustav Klimt that were taken as part of his exhibition activities in Germany and abroad - during his lifetime and beyond. In addition, there are photographs of Klimt and important companions that document him in his private surroundings, on his travels or during his excursions. Another focus is on the professional portraits by Carl Schuster, Moriz Nähr, Anton Josef "Antios" Trčka and others from the famous Madame d'Ora studio.

Index of autographs

This section includes correspondence from, to and about Klimt. For example, you can research his summer retreats, his fascination with the world of plants or Klimt as a poet. In addition, the correspondence that traces the genesis of the commissioned works and Klimt's very personal autographs, which provide insights into the nature and inner world of the artist, are also included here. Extensive transcriptions including cross-references are made available to users.

List of exhibitions

The directory with cross-references to Klimt's paintings, autographs and photographs contains over 220 exhibitions, including posters, room plans, insights into his work and source material from the years 1883 to 1945, in which paintings and drawings by Gustav Klimt were shown. For the first time, around half of all the exhibitions covered can be accessed via the structured online index, outside of previously published Klimt catalogs raisonnés. The presentations from the post-war period to the present day are continually being added to.

Outlook and expansion stages

In addition to the ongoing updates and additions, further expansion stages are planned in the coming months and years:

2024: Implementation of the English language version
2025: Didactic material for download
2025: Commentaries on works and provenance information in the paintings research area


If you have any further information or suggestions for corrections or additions to the information and content provided on the Gustav Klimt database, please contact us at: office@klimt-foundation.com