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Albin Grau (b. December 22, 1884 in Berlinmarker, d. in 1942 in Buchenwaldmarker or in 1971 in Berlin) was an artist, architect and occultist, and the producer and production designer for F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu. He was largely responsible for the look and spirit of the film, including the sets, costumes, storyboards and promotional materials.

As a life long student of the occult he was able to imbue Nosferatu with hermetic and mystical undertones. One example in particular was the cryptic contract that Count Orlok and Knock exchanged, which was filled in Enochian, hermetic and alchemical symbols. Grau was also a strong influence on Orlok's verminous and emaciated look.

Before Grau and Murnau collaborated on Nosferatu, Grau was planning to create several movies devoted to the occult and supernatural through his studio, Prana Film. Since Nosferatu was a loose and unauthorized translation of Bram Stoker's Dracula Prana had to declare bankruptcy in order to evade infringement lawsuits. This made Nosferatu its one and only release.

Albin Grau died in October 1942, at Buchenwald concentration campmarker; Thuringiamarker, Germanymarker. According to other sources he was able to escape from Nazi Germany and together with his daughter, emigrated to Switzerlandmarker. According to these sources, after the war, Grau returned to Germany where he died on March 27, 1971.

Representations in Popular Culture

Albin Grau was one of the main characters in the fictionalized movie account of the filming of Nosferatu, titled Shadow of the Vampire (2000), directed by American filmmaker E. Elias Merhige. He was played by Udo Kier.


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