April 3, 05:01 PM GMT
20,000 - 30,000 USD
ROBERT WIENE AND WILLY HAMEISTER
1873-1938 and 1889-1938
SELECTED FILM STILLS FROM THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
a group of 55 photographs, several with numerical notations in pencil on the reverse, 1919-20 (55)
Each approximately 10 by 13 in. (25.4 by 33 cm.) or the reverse
This remarkable group of 55 photographs documents many of the psychologically and visually twisted scenes from the 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, generally recognized as the first true horror film. Robert Wiene directed this tale of an insane, diabolical hypnotist who manipulates a somnambulist to execute a series of murders. Considered the first German Expressionist film, the sets and costume designs mirror the dark narrative through the use of abstract designs and unsettling camera angles which were captured by cinematographer Willy Hameister. The allegorical story referenced contemporaneous political events: Dr. Caligari personified the German government during World War I, while the somnambulist symbolized soldiers who were trained to function as killing machines.
Stills and promotional photographs from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari have rarely appeared at auction. A selection of prints has been located in institutional collections, including Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.