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Lot 372: Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956)

Est: £110,000 GBP - £150,000 GBPSold:
Christie'sFebruary 08, 2005London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


Possendorf II
signed 'Feininger' (lower right); signed, dated and inscribed 'Feininger, 1930 Possendorf II' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
16 3/8 x 21 1/4 in. (41.5 x 54 cm.)
Painted in 1930

Artist or Maker


New York, Museum of Modern Art, Lyonel Feininger - Marsden Hartley, October 1944 - January 1945, no. 39.


H. Hess, Lyonel Feininger, New York, 1959, no. 315 (illustrated p. 277).


Curt Valentin Gallery, New York.
Lilienfeld Gallery, New York.
Mrs Otto Spaeth, New York, by whom acquired from the above.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY.
The artist, by whom acquired from the above in exchange for another of his works.
Willard Gallery, New York (no. D-123).
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (no. A7712).


Property from the Estate of Rhonie H. Berlinger

In 1929 Alfred Barr staged a show entitled 19 Living Americans at the newly opened Museum of Modern Art. Barr included seven pictures by Feininger, thus recognising him as an American artist for the first time officially in the city of his birth. Writing in January 1930, Feininger expressed satisfaction that recognition was now coming to him from outside Germany, particularly as the storm clouds were beginning to gather on the German political horizon. For instance, the new right wing government in Thuringia lost little time in removing pictures by his Bauhaus colleagues Kandinsky, Klee and Schlemmer from the museum in Weimar. And although Feininger's contract at the Bauhaus in Dessau had expired in 1928, he felt unable to break away completely from the organisation and he remained close to Kandinsky and Klee in particular.

The organisation of Possendorf II is typically rigorous. The village church at the right occupies the prominent position, seeming to effortlessly float above the surrounding town, making its own 'special space' as Feininger termed it. In order to achieve this illusion, Feininger assiduously over-lays and merges planes of luminous gold/tan/ochre hues, each contributing to the overall aim of conveying Feininger's 'spiritual' impulse.

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Auction Details

Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

February 08, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

8 King Street, St. James's, London, LDN, SW1Y 6QT, UK