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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
© 2011 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

Lyonel Feininger’s use of color in this painting resembles that of a Gothic stained-glass window. The semi-translucent shades appear as though seen through water. The composition remains rigorously ordered, structured through the use of planes and angles that became the hallmark of Feininger’s style. In 1919 he wrote about this painting:

"The picture entitled Near the Palace was inspired through stimulation derived from an alley near Weimar which is located near the old “Palais.” In the year 1914, I made some sketches of this alley.... The exceedingly straight right angle form of all objects in the picture and the elimination of the natural perspective, as well as the unworldly color are a strict consequence of my emotional state at the time because of the war. Near the Palace is the first of a series of pictures in similar composition and form. The form speaks of escape in a world of abstract peace. This picture could almost be called happy since later pictures have even more expression of my melancholy."

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