The Dance of Death (Totentanz) Silent Film Poster
German Release Version, by Josef Fenneker c. 1919
Academic note: There were three different posters created by three different artists to promote the film The Dance of Death (Totentanz) in 1919.
The poster pictured here is the German version created by Josef Fenneker for the Marmorhaus premiere in Berlin. Fenneker is frequently and erroneously credited for the American version, which is unsigned (link). While elements of Fenneker are suggested in the American poster, it is extremely unlikely that the hand that created the artwork was his. The third poster, for the Austrian release of the film, was created by Theo Matejko (link). All three posters are part of the museum's permanent collection and are preserved in the Century Guild archive.
Totentanz was written by Fritz Lang years before he directed the legendary films Metropolis, Destiny, and M, and tells the story of a beautiful dancer (Sascha Gura) kept prisoner by a cruel, crippled elderly man who uses her to lure men to their deaths in a bizarre labyrinth beneath his eerie mansion. The film is sadly lost, and only the original posters for the film remain as artifacts to tell Fritz Lang and director Otto Rippert's terrifying story.
This print was created by photographing the original turn of the century antique poster in the Century Guild museum archive.
Why does that make our prints special? Century Guild Patronage Prints accurately represent the original turn-of-the-century artwork. Each print is created from a high-resolution image file that we obtained by scanning the original poster in the archive. It means that the color, lines, subtle shading, and other minute details - including any "flaws" in the original artwork - are perfectly captured and left intact. You won't find high-contrast, heavily photoshopped images here. The Century Guild standard demands superior image quality to ensure that the print you receive is a beautiful, miniature version of the original.
Our Patronage Prints feature some of the best posters we've ever had the good fortune to document, and when you purchase these prints you are directly supporting our research and preservation of rare, obscure, arcane, forgotten, and important artworks.
Each print is presented on 11" x 14" archival paper and blindstamped with the Century Guild emblem.