Leni Riefenstahl  (German, 1902-2003) 

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Leni Reifenstahl (German, August 22, 1902–September 8, 2003) was a dancer, actress, and German film director who was known for her innovation in filmmaking and the aesthetics of her films. Born under the name Helene Bertha Amalie, Leni Reifenstahl began taking dance and ballet lessons at the age of 16 at the Grimm-Reiter Dance School in Berlin. With a positive reputation among those in the dance circuit of Berlin, she quickly moved on to making films.

While working with Arnold Fanck (German, 1889–1974), Reifenstahl created a film called The White Hell of Pitz Palu (1929). This film helped spread her fame throughout Germany and beyond. Later, in her years as a filmmaker, Reifenstahl worked with Adolph Hitler, producing a chronicle of the Nuremberg Rally called Triump des Willens, also known in English as Triumph of the Will. This film was a major success in Germany, and led to Reifenstahl’s international recognition. She was the first female film director to receive such recognition. Although Reidenstahl worked to create films depicting the German army, she denied intentionally creating films to be used as pro-Nazi propoganda. However, she did dress in German military attire to serve as a war correspondent. On the other hand, she also told of a time when a German soldier prevented her from intervening in a civilian execution in Konskie, Poland. On another occasion, Reifenstahl was filming in Krün, Bavaria, and the extras needed to play Spanish women and farmers in her film were chosen from the gypsies detained at a nearby camp.

Examples of Reifenstahl's photography have been published in several books, including The Last of the Nuba. She also published marine life stills in a marine-based film called Impressionen Unter Wasser in 2002. Another successful film by Reifenstahl is Olympia, which is noted for both technical and aesthetic achievements for the time. She was one of the original filmmakers to use tracking shots in documentary films, and she was also noted for using slow-motion shots during her films. Olympia is considered to have had a major influence on modern sports photography. Reifenstahl died on September 8, 2003.

Find Leni Riefenstahl artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Artworks for sale (16)
In Art Galleries (16)
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Leni Riefenstahl, Their Shadows

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Their Shadows
1936

Atlas Gallery
Leni Riefenstahl, Lebendige Antike

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Lebendige Antike
1936

Camera Work
Leni Riefenstahl, Der Sieger

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Der Sieger
1936

Camera Work
Leni Riefenstahl, Der Einsprung

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Der Einsprung
1936

Camera Work
Leni Riefenstahl, The Discus Thrower

 

Leni Riefenstahl
The Discus Thrower
1936

Atlas Gallery
Leni Riefenstahl, Gold Medal Winner in the Men’s High Diving

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Gold Medal Winner in the Men’s High Diving
1936

Atlas Gallery
Leni Riefenstahl, Dive from 10 Meters Tower

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Dive from 10 Meters Tower
1936

Atlas Gallery
Leni Riefenstahl, In Deep Mourning

 

Leni Riefenstahl
In Deep Mourning
1962-1977

Atlas Gallery
Leni Riefenstahl, Mask IV

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Mask IV
1975-1976

Atlas Gallery
Past auction results (311)  View All
Leni Riefenstahl, Berlin Olympics

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Berlin Olympics, 1990-1999
photograph, mntd

 

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Leni Riefenstahl, Marjorie Gestring

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Marjorie Gestring, 1936
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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Leni Riefenstahl, Ausklang (Conclusion)

 

Leni Riefenstahl
Ausklang (Conclusion), 1936
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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2008   Art Cologne, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2007   Art Cologne, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006   Kunstmesse München, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006   Cologne Fine Art, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006   Art Cologne, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2005   Art Cologne, Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2005   Leni Riefenstahl, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld
2001   Gallery Fahey/Klein, Los Angeles, USA
2000   Galerie Camera Work, Berlin
2000   Cultureel Centrum, Knokke-Heist, Belgium
1999   Casa de Cultura de Calp, Calpe, Spain
1998 - 1999   Leni Riefenstahl, Filmmuseum, Potsdam
1997   Galerie Andreas Schlüter, Hamburg
1996   Leni Riefenstahl - der Rhythmus eines Blicks, Palazzo della Ragione, Milan
1996   Barsokevitsch- Valokuvakeskus Photographic Centre, Kuopio, Finland
1991 - 1992   Leni Riefenstahl - Life, Bunkamura, Tokyo
1991   Großfotostudio Roucka, Munich
1980   Sheibu-Museum, Tokyo