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Gelmeroda IX

Museum Folkwang, Essen, Allemagne © Museum Folkwang, Essen © ADAGP, Paris 2014

Lyonel Feininger

(1871 - 1956)

Date : 1926 | Medium : Oil on canvas

Lyonel Feininger was a native of New York, but emigrated to Germany at the age of 16. Although his early works displayed a considerable human presence, Feininger chose the city as his preferred subject following his encounter with Cubism. He favoured angular buildings with protruding angles, into which his increasingly stylised characters could blend. Churches and cathedrals offered him a particularly rich field of study.


The Gothic church of Gelmeroda (in Thuringe) inspired him to produce a series of works between 1906 and 1936. In the view you can see here, dated 1926, the painting is streamlined to give a transfigured vision of the building; this is achieved by depicting the light in coloured planes, which seem to form echoes of the building in space. Feininger was a composer and musician who envisaged seriality as a recurrent musical motif, inspired by Bach's fugues.

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