Lyonel Feininger:
Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)
Proportional view
Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)
Lyonel Feininger:
Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)

Quick info

limited | signed | woodcut on paper | framed | size 29.5 x 29.5 cm

Product no. IN-938367.R1
Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)
Lyonel Feininger: Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)

Detailed description

Picture "Cruising Sailing Ships, 2" (1919)

While the etchings and lithographs remained relatively limited in Feininger's oeuvre, his extensive woodcuts occupy an equally significant position alongside his paintings and watercolours. In addition to churches, villages and city views, Feininger, who was perpetually fascinated by the sea throughout his life, focused predominantly on maritime themes in this body of work, including sailing ships, harbours, and coastal scenes.

A particularly successful example of this is the small-scale woodcut presented here, dating from 1918, which captivates the observer with its two-dimensional media and is stylistically oriented towards Cubism. By reducing the individual image elements to geometric shapes, they simplify into an impressive crystalline clarity.

During his two-year obsessive period of creating woodcuts, Feininger developed a deep passion for the medium itself, emphasising the quality of the paper he used. The high-quality and very fine Japanese paper accentuates the striking contrasts of black and white, lines and areas, making this work, which is absolutely worthy of collecting and signed by the artist in the lower left corner, particularly impactful.

Original woodcut on paper, 1919. Signed. Catalogue raisonné Prasse W 175. Motif size 17.1 x 22.5 cm. Sheet size 22.3 x 28.1 cm. Size in frame 29.5 x 29.5 cm as shown.

Porträt Lyonel Feiningers von Hugo Erfurth

About Lyonel Feininger


Lyonel Feininger is known for his depictions of streets, cities and ships, which are composed of prismatically broken forms and inspired by Cubism and the art of Robert Delaunay.

The painter and graphic artist was born in New York in 1871 as the son of German musicians. He first came to Germany at the age of 16 for a concert tour of his parents and stayed there to study at the Hamburg School of Applied Arts and later at the Royal Prussian Academy in Berlin. After a study visit to Paris, he continued living and working for many years in Germany, where he was close to the "Blauer Reiter" artists' group. Starting in 1919, he made his mark as a master for the graphic workshops of "Bauhaus" in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin.

Feininger, along with Schlemmer, most explicitly realised the Bauhaus ideal of order. For him, the starting point is not the human figure but architecture, the strict geometric structure of forms that he observed in Gothic churches. His studies of the architecture of small German towns established his light-flooded, prismatic style, which was to become a model for many artists.

Feininger first devoted himself to German townscapes and churches. During the National Socialist era, the Nazi Party officially declared Feininger’s work to be "degenerate", which forced him to return to New York in 1937. There he created his famous impressions of the architecture of Manhattan and New York.