Walther Ruttmann
1887 – 1941

Before becoming a filmmaker, Walther Ruttmann was an abstract painter. He felt that “motion paintings,” or abstractions in time, would be the future of art. His Lichtspiel: Opus I (1921) was an eleven-minute work in three movements, set to music by Max Butting. Viewers saw gliding circles, cascading swirls, and rotating crescents fill the screen in full color. It was the first abstract film to be screened for the public, and it is a foundational text both in terms of …

Featured Media

Active Years
Media Credits

Lichtspiel: Opus I (1921)