The etching shows the view of the village Niedergrunstedt near Weimar and belongs to a series of works depicting churches and villages in Thuringia, a region which the artist continually visited between 1906 and 1937. The work features a very prominent style of execution characteristic of Feininger and, like many of the artist’s graphic works, a sketch-like quality. The fine lines, which give shape to the buildings and figures, contrast with the black hatched shadowing. The humorous aspect, which characterizes Feininger’s caricatures, can be found in the playful signature ‘Leinoel Einfinger’.
The sheet is in good condition, discolored consistent with age and with scattered foxing marks. The sheet shows slight rippling at the lower edge. It is mounted to a mat at the upper edges.
Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956)
Lyonel Feininger moved from New York to Germany at the age of 16. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg, at the Royal Academy in Berlin and later in Paris under the sculptor Filippo Colarossi. Back in Berlin he worked as a commercial caricaturist for various magazines. In 1906 Feininger visited Paris again where he met Robert Delaunay and Henri Matisse. Five years later six of Feininger’s works were shown at the ‘Salon des Artistes Indépendants’. The artist became acquainted with Cubism and in Germany he got to know the members of the artists’ groups 'Brücke' and 'Blauer Reiter'. In 1919, he was hired by Walter Gropius as the head of the graphic workshop at the newly founded Bauhaus. Since Feininger’s works were considered as ‘degenerate art’ during the Nazi regime, the artist moved back to the United States in the late 1930s, continuously working with German subjecs. In 1944 the Museum of Modern Art showed a first retrospective of the artist together with the American painter Marsden Hartley. The MoMA still houses some of Feininger’s work. Today Lyonel Feininger is known as one of the most important artists of the classical modern period whose works are represented in the most renowned museums worldwide. (msc)