Lyonel Charles Feininger (July 17, 1871 – January 13, 1956) was a German-Americanpainter, and a leading exponent of Expressionism. He also worked as a caricaturist and comic strip artist. He was born and grew up in New York City, traveling to Germany at 16 to study and perfect his art. He started his career as a cartoonist in 1894 and met with much success in this area. He was also a commercial caricaturist for 20 years for magazines and newspapers in the USA and Germany. At the age of 36, he started to work as a fine artist.
Lyonel Feininger var en tysk-amerikansk konstnär som blev en av de mest kända och beundrade bidragsgivarna till kubistiska och expressionistiska skolor konst i början av 20-talet.
Feininger var en av grundarna av Bauhausskolan av konst och arkitektur, tillsammans med Walter Gropius. Han undervisade på skolan i Weimar och senare vid Dessau, tills den stängdes av nazisterna 1933.
Lyonel Feininger was born to German-American violinist and composer Karl Feininger and American singer Elizabeth Feininger. He was born and grew up in New York City, but traveled to Germany at the age of 16 in 1887 to study. In 1888, he moved to Berlin and studied at the Königliche Akademie Berlin under Ernst Hancke. He continued his studies at art schools in Berlin with Karl Schlabitz, and in Paris with sculptor Filippo Colarossi. He started as a caricaturist for several magazines including Harper's Round Table, Harper's Young People, Humoristische Blätter, Lustige Blätter, Das Narrenschiff, Berliner Tageblatt and Ulk.
In 1900, he met Clara Fürst, daughter of the painter Gustav Fürst. He married her in 1901, and they had two daughters. In 1905, he separated from his wife after meeting Julia Berg. He married Berg in 1908 and had several children with her.
When the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, the situation became unbearable for Feininger and his wife. The Nazi Party declared his work to be "degenerate." They moved to America after his work was exhibited in the 'degenerate art' (Entartete Kunst) in 1936, but before the 1937 exhibition in Munich. He taught at Mills College before returning to New York. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1955.
Feininger also had intermittent activity as a pianist and composer, with several piano compositions and fugues for organ extant.
His sons, Andreas Feininger and T. Lux Feininger, both became noted artists, the former as a photographer and the latter as a photographer and painter. T. Lux Feininger died July 7, 2011 at the age of 101.