Feininger, born American of German parents, studied in Paris and was influenced by Cézanne’s crystalline constructions. In 1911, he exhibited with the Cubists at the Salon des Indépendants. However, he found the Cubism of Picasso and Braque too mechanical and concrete, preferring the atmospheric, poetic and lyrical qualities of a way of painting he called “prism-ism.” A violinist of some talent, Feininger compared his art to music and his paintings to fugues. He exhibited with the German Expressionists and was a member of the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). This canvas was painted just before he joined the Bauhaus, where he stayed until the school was shut down by the Nazis. A few well-dressed women and a Belgian flag provide counterpoints of colour here and there to the chromatic division of the canvas, and the shapes of the houses echo the wave-like curves of the sky. With its figures sketched from life, it recalls his time in Paris and his past as an illustrator.
© The Lyonel Feininger Family LLC / SOCAN (2020)