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Near the Palace, 1914-1915

Lyonel Feininger

American, 1871-1956
Oil on canvas
39-5/8 x 31-1/2 in. (100.6 x 80 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.2000.1.1.P
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

Based on a drawing Feininger had made of a street in Weimar the previous fall, this picture was completed in the artist’s Berlin studio during the winter of 1914-1915. Though faceted, fragmentary shapes in the house fronts, steeple, and sky recall the formal experiments of Picasso and Braque during their Analytic Cubist phase, Feininger used these devices to new expressive ends, suggesting the feeling of isolation and alienation he experienced as an American living in Germany during the First World War. In a letter to one of the picture’s early owners, Dr. Erich Rosenhain, the painter would later explain, “The exceedingly straight right-angle form of all objects in the picture, the elimination of natural perspective, and the unearthly colors are a direct consequence of my emotional state at that time, a result of the war.”

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