Robert Neppach

Robert Neppach (2 March 1890 – 18 August 1939) was an Austrian architect, film producer and art director. Neppach worked from 1919 in the German film industry. He oversaw the art direction of over eighty films during his career, including F.W. Murnau's Desire (1921) and Richard Oswald's Lucrezia Borgia (1922).[1] Neppach was comparatively unusual among set designers during the era in having university training.[2]

Robert Neppach
Born2 March 1890
Died18 August 1939 (1939-08-19) (aged 49)
OccupationFilm producer
Art director
Years active1919–1937 (film)

In 1932 he switched to concentrate on film production. In May 1933, his first Jewish wife Nelly, a successful tennis player, took her life because of the discrimination and prosecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. He married Grete Walter, daughter of the composer Bruno Walter, in autumn of 1933. With his Jewish wife, life grew increasingly difficult for him under the Nazis. He began to work as an architect again and the couple emigrated to Switzerland. In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, he shot himself and his wife.

Selected filmography

Art director




  1. Eisner p.351
  2. Bergfelder, Harris & Street p.35-36


  • Weniger, Kay: „Es wird im Leben dir mehr genommen als gegeben …“. Lexikon der aus Deutschland und Österreich emigrierten Filmschaffenden 1933 bis 1945. Eine Gesamtübersicht. ACABUS Verlag, Hamburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-86282-049-8, p. 364.
  • Bergfelder, Tim, Harris, Sue & Street, Sarah. Film Architecture and the Transnational Imagination: Set Design in 1930s European Cinema. Amsterdam University Press, 2007.
  • Eisner, Lotte H. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. University of California Press, 2008.

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