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Lyonel Charles Feininger (July 17, 1871 January 13, 1956) was a German-American painter and caricaturist.

Life and work

Lyonel Feininger was born to parents of German American descent and grew up in New York Citymarker. He moved to Berlinmarker in 1887 to study at the Königliche Akademie Berlin under Ernst Hancke, art schools in Berlin with Karl Schlabitz, and in Paris with sculptor Filippo Colarossi. He started working as a caricaturist for several magazines including Harper's Round Table, Harper's Young People, Humoristische Blätter, Lustige Blätter, Das Narrenschiff, Berliner Tageblatt and Ulk.

Feininger married Clara Fürst, daughter of the painter Gustav Fürst, and they had two daughters. He also had several children with Julia Berg whom he later married.

The artist is represented with drawings at the exhibitions of the annual Berlin Secession in the years 1901 through 1903.

Feininger only started working as an artist at the age of 36, after having worked as a commercial caricaturist for twenty years for various newspapers and magazines in both the USAmarker and Germanymarker; he was a member of the Berliner Sezession in 1909, was associated with expressionist group Die Brücke, the Novembergruppe, Gruppe 1919, the Blaue Reiter circle and The Blue Four. Famously, he designed the cover for the Bauhaus 1919 manifesto: an expressionist woodcut 'cathedral'. He also taught at the Bauhaus for several years, among the students who attended his workshops were Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack (German/Australian (1893 - 1965), Hans Friedrich Grohs (German 1892 - 1981) and Margarete Koehler-Bittkow (German/American, 1898-1964)

When the NSDAP came to power in 1933, the situation became unbearable for Feininger and his wife, who was partly Jewish. They moved to America after his work was exhibited in the 'degenerate art' (Entartete Kunst) in 1936, but before the 1937 exhibition in Munichmarker.

Feininger was one of the very few fine artists also to draw comic strips as a cartoonist. His short-lived strips, The Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie's World were noted for their fey humor and graphic experimentation.

Feininger also had intermittent activity as a pianist and composer, with several piano compositions and fugues for organ extant.

His son, Andreas Feininger, became famous as a photographer of New York Citymarker.
Lyonel Feininger's painting Jesuiten III (Jesuits III), 1915

Stamp, Germany 2002

Selected works

See also


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