Moriz Nähr (1859–1945) is one of the most important innovators of photography in “Vienna around 1900”. His photographic oeuvre is mentioned today in the same breath as that of the famous Parisian photographer Eugène Atget. Nähr enjoyed a life-long artist’s friendship with Gustav Klimt and was connected with the artist through a special network of eminent personalities from the arts, culture and philosophy. Numerous portrait photographs of Klimt emphatically document the two artists’ bond.
Klimt was also inspired by Nähr’s photographic motifs, as illustrated by the conformities in the photographer’s pictures and Klimt’s painting Beech Forest I created in 1902. The legends surrounding Moriz Nähr are based on the one hand on his close ties with Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession and on the other hand on his connections with the family of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the imperial Habsburg family, especially with the heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who appointed him court photographer in 1908.
Owing to his work as a freelance photographer as well as to his various commissions, he has left behind a multi-faceted oeuvre comprising not only landscape-, architecture-, and portrait photography but also street photography (Scenes from the Naschmarkt, 1918) as well as photographs documenting exhibitions (Vienna Secession).