Carnival in Arcueil (1911), oil on canvas
Born and raised in New York, Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956) moved at the age of sixteen to Germany, to study music. However, he decided against pursuing music professionally, and instead pursued his talent for caricature, turning it into a successful career as a newspaper cartoonist. His early paintings followed, colorful van Gogh influenced scenes of German town life, with distorted characters dressed in stovepipe hats rushing around chaotically, like Carnival in Arcueil. Nevertheless, Lyonel Feininger is best known today for his later paintings, to which he got after incorporating influences from Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism. Lyonel Feininger seems to have been present at every landmark artistic moment, always perhaps a step or two behind, but absorbing and synthesizing and creating something uniquely his. After spending 50 of his most creative years in Germany, in the late 1930s, the Nazi campaign against modern art forced him to flee back to New York where he was received with open arms.