The Cathedral

Lyonel Feininger (American, 1871 - 1956)

1920. Oil on canvas, 35 5/8 x 45 1/4". 1991.001.016

Lionel Feininger went to Germany in 1887 to study music, but instead he became a painter, living there for fifty years before returning to the United States. Feininger developed a particular style of Cubism that he called “Prismism” because of its transparent, faceted forms and delicately modulated colors. Feininger was drawn to the spiritual associations of both music and religious architecture as subjects—here, he has created visually a musical fugue using repeated and overlapping Cubist planes, and he has conveyed the sound of tolling bells above the rooftops in circular Cubist forms.

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