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Franz Setzer was one of the most prominent portrait photographers in Austria for several decades. He portrayed leading stage performers and singers who were among his circle of friends that included famous writers, artists and their patrons. Working in the style of turn of the century art photography, he realized that primarily half-length and three-quarter length profile portraits against neutral backgrounds best allowed the sitter's unique qualities to project.
In 1909 Setzer established a photography studio that soon attracted performers from Richard Strauss operas and, in 1920, he married the soprano Marie Guntheil-Schroder. Images of renowned stage performers photographed in the Vienna studio in their theatrical roles, or a private citizens, or at the Salzburg Music Festival, were reproduced as postcards and published internationally in illustrated magazines. A member of the Photographische Gessellschaft in Wein (Vienna Photographic Society) since 1912. Setzer exhibited regularly, including in the Hagenbund Photo-Fachaustellung (Hagenbund Photography Exhibition) in Vienna in 1930.
Faber, Monika and Timm Starl, Zeit ohne Zukunft, Photographie in Wein 1918-1938, Vienna, 1998.
Starl, Timm, Osterreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950, Vienna, 2002
[Courtesy of Muse XX, October 2007]