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    Nursing a Viper (Biograph Studios, 1909). One Sheet (28" X 42").
    In the early days of motion pictures, legendary director David Wark Griffith worked to create a new cinematic language. Through the shorts he made during his time with Biograph Studios, Griffith developed and refined such techniques as cross-cutting, camera movement, close-ups and more, techniques taken for granted now, but revolutionary and ambitious in their day. He was also one of the first to produce and direct a feature film in the U.S., Judith of Bethulia (1914). As an artist and a craftsman, Griffith's place in film history cannot be overstated. To say that the one-reel film represented here, Nursing a Viper, was an early effort in Griffith's career would be true, but at the same time misleading. Although it's true that Griffith had only taken up the directorial reins in 1908, the year before this film was released, it's also true that by the time Griffith made this picture, set in the days of the French Revolution, he had almost 200 short films to his credit. Although Griffith's best, and arguably most important work such as Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916) was still ahead of him, it must be said that these early years were incredibly productive, fruitful, and important in developing the skills and techniques that Griffith, and virtually all other filmmakers, would use in the future. Of other historical importance about this film is that it featured a young Florence Lawrence, the woman credited with being the first known "movie star" and Marion Leonard, one of Griffith's favorite female leads during his Biograph years. Paper from these early Biograph shorts is extremely rare, not surprising as it is over a century old. This particular stone litho one sheet is an incredible find. It has edge wear, a small tear in the left border, separation at some of the fold lines, and corner creases, but professional restoration has largely addressed these flaws, making this a rare and historic treasure that is sure to be the pride of any collection. Fine+ on Linen.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    16th-17th Saturday-Sunday
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