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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION, GERMANY

Sardinenfischer II

Sardinenfischer II
signed, numbered and inscribed 'Feininger: Sardinen - fischer II' (lower left); dated '29 8 32' (lower right); inscribed again 'Frl. Rive gewidmet, d.12. III. 34' (lower left)
watercolour and pen and ink on paper
11 7/8 x 18 1/4 in. (30.3 x 46.4 cm.)
Executed on 29 August 1932
Renate Rive, Halle, a gift from the artist on 12 March 1934.
Kennedy Galleries, New York (no. A16064), by circa 1966-1974.
Private collection, South Germany; sale Grisebach, Berlin, 29 November 2012, lot 30.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Stuttgart, Kunsthaus Bühler, Lyonel Feininger: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, October - December 1972, no. 16, p. 6 (illustrated p. 9).
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
Achim Moeller, Managing Principal of The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC, has confirmed the authenticity of this work. The work is registered in the archives of The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC, New York - Berlin with the no. 1853-05-22-23.

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Lot Essay

Seascapes were one of Lyonel Feininger’s most beloved and repeated subjects. The forces of the sea and wind acting on the triangular shapes inherent to sailboats fascinated the artist, allowing him to create compositions that unite air, light, water and speed. The present watercolour depicts a peaceful harbour, animated by a group of small fishing boats, some heading out to sea, others moored in the marina, with one large frigate visible in the distance. On the shoreline and pier are small figures of pedestrians and Sardinenfischer (sardine fishermen) – the source for the work’s title. The artist floods the composition with water through the use of large unbroken areas of aquamarine blue, refrained from overflowing by the strong architectural borders of the horizon and marina.

Feininger was born in New York but became actively involved in the German modern art scene and was at the epicentre of the Bauhaus movement. He was the first form master invited by Walter Gropius to teach at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1919, in charge of the printmaking workshop. In 1925 he and fellow Bauhaus painters Alexej von Jawlensky, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky formed the modern art group Blauen Vier (Blue Four); their work was exhibited under this name, spreading awareness about their artistic ideals and style to international audiences.

In 1928 Feininger was approached with a commission to create a painting of Halle by its mayor Richard Robert Rive, which was intended as a gift to the Saxonian district president in Magdeburg. The German art historian and scholar Alois J. Schardt, who at that time was the director of the Moritzburg Museum, suggested that Feininger go on to paint eleven paintings of the city. The artist accepted the invitation and lived intermittently in Halle from 1929 to 1931.

Feininger worked in a studio in an old tower of the Moritzburg Museum and grew to like Halle, writing letters to his friends about the ‘colourful’ atmosphere of the city. For his paintings and numerous studies he chose to focus on the distinctive architectural monuments of Halle: the Church of St, Mary (Marienkirche), the Cathedral (Dom) and the Red Tower (Rote Turm). After completing the commission, Feininger likely returned to Halle and gifted the present the work to Mayor Rive’s daughter, Fräulein Renate Rive, in 1934, to whom this work is inscribed.

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