Maximilian Lenz was born in Vienna. After his art education he worked as a painter (landscapes, genre and historical works) and lithographer, but he also made sculptures. He was co-founder of the Wiener Sezession in 1897 and participated several times in the exhibitions of this progressive artists' collective. Lenz moved in the Vienna avant-garde circles of his time and had contact with, among others, Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich. During the First World War he made several posters for the Central Powers. He also designed banknotes in the early 1890s.