Méliès created images within images using the matte shot. In this early example, Le Portrait Mysteriéux/The Mysterious Portrait (1899), successive mattes obscure first the area inside and then outside the frame. Rewound, the twice exposed film creates an illusory conversation between the inner and out Mr. Méliès.
Like so much else of Méliès', the film gives image to a major theme of turn-of-the-century Europe, the divided psyche. (Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde in 1886.)
Adapted in 1887 for the stage by actor Robert Mansfield, who played both roles, Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde played for decades in British and American theaters.