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Lyonel Feininger, American (active Germany), 1871 - 1956
Made in Germany, Europe Date:
Oil on canvasDimensions:
31 5/8 x 39 1/2 inches (80.3 x 100.3 cm)
Framed: 33 1/2 × 41 5/8 × 2 1/2 inches (85.1 × 105.7 × 6.4 cm)Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, BonnCuratorial Department:
European PaintingObject Location:
Currently not on viewAccession Number:
Purchased with the Bloomfield Moore Fund, 1951
Feininger painted Bridge V
as the last image in a series depicting an old stone bridge spanning the Ilm River in Oberweimar, Germany. The earliest painting in the series dates to 1913, the same year that Feininger exhibited with Vasily Kandinsky and the Blue Rider group, a loose association of German expressionist artists. This work—made six years later and soon after the artist joined the faculty of the avant-garde Bauhaus school—reflects a new mode of expression, inspired by Cubism, in which the subject dissolves into transparent layers and planes of muted colors.
On extended loan from the artist to the Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar (Germany), Schlossmuseum, 1923-1930 ; collection of the artist, Germany and New York, 1930, until at least 1944 ; with Curt Valentin, Buchholz Gallery, New York, by 1951; sold to PMA, March 1, 1951 .
1. See Rolf Bothe, "Paul Klee und Lyonel Feininger in den Ausstellungen der Weimarer Kunstsammlungen von 1920 bis 1930," in Aufstieg und Fall der Moderne (exh. cat.), Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar, 1999, p. 278-28, and no. 198, p. 305. The painting was one of 70 works by modern artists ordered to be removed from display at the museum in 1930 by the National Socialist Minister of the Interior for Thuringia, Wilhelm Frick (the earliest campaign against "degenerate art" in Germany). See also a letter from Julia Feininger to Dr. Wilhelm Mayer of 19 February 1930 (typed all in lowercase), in which she discusses the various numbered versions of the "Bridge" subject, and notes that "brücke v gehört mir und hängt als leihgabe im museum auch in weimar" (Bridge V belongs to me and hangs as a loan in the museum also in Weimar); quoted in Florens Deuchler, Lyonel Feininger: sein Weg zum Bauhaus-Meister (Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1996), p. 222, note 152.
2. Lent by Feininger to the exhibition "Lyonel Feininger/Marsden Hartley", Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1944 (illus. p. 24). Feininger resettled permanently from Germany to the U.S. in 1937.
3. See copy of telegram dated 1 March 1951 from Henry Clifford (curator) to Curt Valentin (Fiske Kimball Records, PMA Archives, Box 7, f. 7; copy in curatorial file).