Brahms, Johannes. (1833–1897)
Collection of Original Photographs
Important collection of 9 photographs of the great composer, many taken later in his life in the circle of the Austrian intellectual and industrial family, the von Miller zu Aichholzes, and photographed by one of the sons of the family, Eugen von Miller zu Aichholz, Jr. or by Maria Fellinger. Brahms is seen riding in a carriage; in various settings, and on his deathbed. Also included are three professional portrait photographs of the composer, two as a young man and one later in life, photographed in Vienna and Berlin. Most of the photographs bear cross-references, dates, and other notes in pencil on the mount. They range in size from CDV to cabinet and are in very good to very fine condition, some with slight scratches and stains or slight soiling to the mounts, but overall in fine condition. A truly remarkable collection, details as follows.
CDV vignette portrait of the young Brahms, leaning on his left elbow with his right hand inside his coat. With the photographer's name, Wehnert-Beckmann of Leipzig, at the foot and on the verso. Dated in pencil on the verso: 1853. 2.5 x 4 inches (6.1 x 10.5 cm). Fine.
CDV photograph of the young Brahms, standing, leaning on his left hand on a table with his right hand inside his coat. With the photographer's name, Löwy (Vienna), at the foot. Mounted on card with several handwritten notes and references in pencil (in German) on the verso. 2.5 x 4 inches (6.5 x 10.4 cm). Fine.
Photograph of three men in a horse-drawn carriage, identified on the verso as Brahms, [Karl] Goldmark and [Eugen von] Miller [zu Aichholz]. On the photographer's mount: Eugen v. Miller, jr, Wien und Gmunden. Dated 1893 on the verso with further notes in pencil. 4.5 x 3.5 inches (11.8 x 8.9 cm). Very good.
Photograph of Brahms sitting in an armchair, smoking a cigar and looking at a large score on his lap. Notes in pencil on the mount identify the setting as the home of the Miller zu Aichholz family; Brahms is studying a piano score by Siegfried (a member of the family?). Dated March 1894. Mounted on card. On the verso, a further photograph of a young boy and girl, identified as Olga and Eugen [von Miller zu Aichholz.] 4 x 6 inches (9.9 x 15.4 cm). Very good.
Photograph of Brahms looking out of a window. Dated in pen below the image: Easter Sunday, March 26, 1894. On the mount of the photographer, Maria Fellinger, inscribed and initialed, by Fellinger, below. 4 x 5.25 inches (10.4 x 13.5 cm). Very good. Maria Fellinger and her husband Dr. Richard Fellinger were close friends of Brahms, with whom he spent his Christmas Eve later in life and who hosted many musical soirées. An accomplished amateur singer and artist, Maria Fellinger frequently performed Brahms' songs at musical evenings, and also captured several well-known photographs of the composer as an older man. Richard Fellinger, a trusted friend, served as Brahms' executor.
Cabinet portrait photograph of Brahms, half-length, seated, looking to the left. On the photographer's mount: C. Brasch, Berlin, Leipziger-Str 9. Stamped with the date [of printing] at the lower right: 1897. 4.25 x 6.5 inches (10.9 x 16.6 cm). Very fine.
Photograph of Brahms, seated with his legs crossed on a wicker chair, outside in a garden. On the photographer's mount: Eugen v. Miller, jr, Wien und Gmunden. Undated. 4 x 5.25 inches (10.5 x 13.2 cm). Fine.
Photograph of Brahms, half-length, looking down and to the left. Undated. Mounted on card. 4.25 x 6.5 inches (11 x 16.1 cm). Very good.
Photograph of Brahms in bed, eyes closed; presumably on his deathbed. On the photographer's mount: Eugen v. Miller, jr, Wien und Gmunden, and dated on the verso: 1897. 4.5 x 6 inches (11.3 x 15.1 cm). Fine.