Ferdinand Schmutzer left an imposing photographic oeuvre comprising more than 3,000 glass plate negatives and 330 vintage prints. His photographic works is the subject of this critical edition, where it is placed in its context in the history of photography.
Ferdinand Schmutzer's visual language is the result of a variety of motivations: his portrait photographs often served as studies and masters for his representative etched portraits of famous people, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Pablo Casals, and Arthur Schnitzler.
His photographs of landscapes, places visited on his travels, and his family were taken for private purposes. The fact that Schmutzer was Vienna's leading producer of etched portraits and the criticism some artists faced for using photography contributed to this part of his oeuvre's remaining unknown until many years after his death.