Feiler came to England from Frankfurt am Main in 1933 as political tensions increased. From 1936-1939 he studied at the Slade with fellow students Patrick Heron and Adrian Heath before he was interned and sent to Canada during World War II.
Feiler first visited Cornwall in 1949 where he was inspired by the surrounding light and dramatic Cornish coastline. Following the success of his sell-out exhibition at The Redfern Gallery in 1953, Feiler bought Stanhope Forbes' old studio, a disused chapel at Kerris, near Newlyn where he settled permanently.
His paintings of the 1950s became increasingly abstract and like his contemporaries, Feiler was absorbed by the work of the American Abstract Expressionist painters, including Rothko whom he met when he visited Cornwall in 1958.
Feiler painted in response to the landscape around him, he was not interested in views but rather the experience of the landscape, writing in 1956, 'I have always enjoyed writing down with paint what I felt the world around me looked like. This has been a limited world; a world of wide open spaces, with snow and ice-covered mountains; later, the sea and rocks seen from a height. This had led me to try to communicate a universal aspect of forms in space; where the scale of shapes to each other and their tonal relationship convey their physical nearness to the spectator and where the overall colour and its texture supplies the emotional overtones of the personality of 'the place'' (T. Cross, Catching the Wave: Contemporary Art and Artists in Cornwall from 1975 to the present day, Tiverton, 2002, p. 52).
In 'Harbour Wall with Sunset', Feiler breaks the structures of the harbour wall and the reflections of the sunlight into layers of tonal harmonies: greys, blues, reds, browns and whites, thus the landscape oscillates into abstraction. Cross discusses Feiler's palette of this period: 'The colours are those of the Cornish landscape - light, clear blue, slate grey, bracken brown and green; the shapes circular and tombed like the boulders' (ibid, p. 169).