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Lyonel Feininger

Painter, draughtsman, commercial artist, caricaturist and composer

Born
1871 in New York, NY
Died
1956 in New York, NY

2 Works by Lyonel Feininger

Biography

Léonell Charles Feininger was born in New York in 1871. In 1887 he moved to Germany and took drawing instruction at Hamburg’s applied arts institute, the Kunstgewerbeschule. A year later he transferred to Berlin and studied at the Königliche Akademie, or Royal Academy. In 1889 he received his first commissions for caricatures from the journal Humoristische Blätter. In 1890, during a sojourn at the Collège Saint-Servais in Liège, Feininger’s interest in early architecture was awakened. In 1892/1893 he stayed for a longer period in Paris and studied in the atelier of the sculptor Filippo Colarossi. Around 1900 he changed his first name to Lionell, which he began spelling with a “y” around 1905. He travelled to London twice in 1908, and joined the Berlin Secession in 1909. In 1911 he was represented in Paris’s Salon des Artistes Indépendants, where he came into contact with French Cubism. Back in Germany, he became acquainted with the painters of the Brücke. In 1919 Feininger was the first master appointed by Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus, where he taught until 1926. In 1924 he founded the artists’ group Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four) with Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Alexej von Jawlensky. His art was proscribed by the National Socialists as “degenerate” in 1937, and 378 of his works were confiscated from German museums. Feininger emigrated to New York, where he died in 1956.

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