Century Guild Museum of Art

The Dance of Death (Totentanz) German Release Poster - Josef Fenneker (11x14 Patronage Print #57)

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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.

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Patronage Prints are made by photographing the ORIGINAL ANTIQUE POSTER in the Century Guild archive - NOT from an internet file.

What does this mean? It means that the color, lines, subtle shading, and other minute details (including any "flaws" in the original) - are perfectly captured and left intact, so that the print you receive is a beautiful, miniature version of the original turn-of-the-century artwork.

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.

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