Gustav Klimt

Valuation and the Market for his Drawings

Valuation and Sale of Klimt Drawings

For over 25 years, our gallery has been trading in the drawings of Gustav Klimt. During this time, we’ve dealt with over 400 original drawings, processed them scientifically, prepared them, restored them and presented them to the public. An important part of the gallery’s work is the valuation of works of art and their placement in private and public collections. We also advise interested collectors on the purchase and sale of Klimt drawings. We have briefly summarised some of the most frequently asked questions regarding authentication, valuation and the art market below.

How is authenticity determined?

Before a Klimt drawing can be valued and sold, its authenticity must first be determined. Due to the large volume of Klimt’s drawings, these are sometimes extremely difficult to authenticate. During the course of time, Klimt not only changed his drawing style, he also used different materials and techniques. Caution is also required when attributing a work to Gustav Klimt, as countless prints and imitations circulate on the market that can be mistaken for originals.

The four-volume catalogue of works by Alice Strobl and the supplementary volume by Dr Marian Bisanz-Prakken, which is continuously being compiled, are primarily decisive in determining the authenticity of an alleged Klimt drawing. In the best case, the drawing in question is already listed in it and the details match the work submitted. If the work is neither included in the catalogue of works nor in the supplementary volume, it must first be checked by the expert Dr Bisanz-Prakken. Their expert opinion is internationally recognised and is considered a prerequisite for further steps, such as valuation and sale.

Of what value are Gustav Klimt drawings?

The current market value of a Klimt drawing depends on a number of factors, as described below. In general, the prices for original drawings by the artist range between approx. EUR 3,000 and EUR 200,000 with important works sometimes considerably higher. Prints, on the other hand, are in a much lower price range. The current sales record for a Gustav Klimt drawing is just under USD 1 million and dates from 2008.

What factors determine the market value?

The value of a work of art depends on many parameters. The most important factor is the undisputable attribution of the work to the artist Gustav Klimt. But even within the body of work there are sometimes clear differences. Drawings created in the context of his major works, such as the Faculty Paintings (1894–1905), the Beethoven Frieze (1901) or well-known portraits such as Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907), are generally more highly valued than simple sketches. His autonomous, independent drawings, which stand out from the shadows of the studies and sketches, are particularly special and are especially sought after by collectors.

The following factors are important for valuing Klimt drawings:
• the motif and its place in the body of work,
• the time it was created,
• the state of preservation,
• the presence of signatures, stamps but also handwritten remarks,
• the technique used, such as black chalk, pencil or coloured pencil,
• the provenance,
• the exhibition history as well as
• the current conditions on the market.

When combined, these factors can determine whether a drawing is worth a few thousand or several hundred thousand euros.

How stable is the value of Gustav Klimt drawings?

As a result of his international fame, Gustav Klimt is one of the “blue chips” of the art market. His drawings and paintings are regularly exhibited worldwide, making them an integral part of the international art discourse. Contemporary artists also enter into dialogue with Klimt and quote his ideas in their works.

Due to the strong presence as well as the timeless topicality of his themes and motifs, there has been undiminished interest in Gustav Klimt for years. Average prices, especially for his best works, have risen continuously since the 1980s.

What information is needed for a valuation?

To provide you with a valuation for your artwork we need the following details:

• Photos of the work, especially the front and back, frame
• Paper dimensions of the drawing
• Information on the origin or previous owners (insofar as is known)
• Number in the catalogue of works (if available)

You can send us this information directly to

Based on this information, it’s possible for us to get an impression of your work and its condition so that we can give you initial feedback afterwards. For a precise valuation and a purchase offer, viewing the original is an option. You’re welcome to present your works to us in person at any time in our galleries in Vienna and New York, or we can arrange a viewing appointment at your premises.