The International Press Institute says cartoonist Jan Egesborg was arrested while putting up the poster in a metro station. Text on the poster asks whether Putin is involved in the shooting of journalists.
Putin is due to visit the Austrian capital on May 23 for talks with President Heinz Fischer, Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, and Austrian business leaders.
Ahead of his visit, Putin cancelled a planned interview with Austrian state television ORF, and the newspaper "Kurier."
ORF says the Kremlin pressured it to not run images from the war in Chechnya in a promotional trailer for the interview.
(with material from AFP, dpa)