Published on Franz Liszt Group, on July 25, 2021. If you want to know how the Story Behind series started, I give details in “Story Behind” Series #1″.
Liszt portrait at the National Library of Paris
Story behind the picture:
Here is the story behind this portrait. This is another picture taken by Louis Held. It was taken in 1883 in his studio, 16 Schillerstraße, in Weimar. I attach to this post another picture that was taken the same day. I already talked a lot about Louis Held, who was one of the most important photographers of the time. He moved in Weimar and opened his studio on April 1st, 1882. We owe him a lot of group pictures with Liszt’s students, his friends, his colleagues… He was the one who photographed him sitting on his writing desk in his living room in Weimar, that was posted in June on this group (I wrote a “story behind” about it). During these years, when most of his colleagues were using conventional studio photography, Held was one of the early photographers to take pictures of subjects in their houses or their gardens. Years after years he improved his technique and found a way to take shots more quickly, although in 1884 Lachmund reported that the famous picture at the writing desk forced Liszt to sit still for one minute. But the pictures with his students are important sources today. The last pictures of Liszt and his students in the Hofgärtnerei were taken by Held in July 1885. In 1886 Held moved to Marienstraße 1, only a few houses away from the Hofgärtnerei. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the time to take more pictures of Liszt this fatal year of his death. Later Held developed one of the early video cameras, and his daughter continued his business after he retired.