Lyonel Feininger, Glassy Sea (1934), courtesy the Museum of Modern Art

Why doesn’t Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956) loom larger when we think about twentieth-century painting in Germany? Innovators such as Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee immediately come to mind and, with a little reflection, so do many other dedicated modernists—Franz Marc, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Paula Modersohn-Becker, and Alexej von Jawlensky, among the more obvious names. Then, if we concentrate a little, we begin to consider artists such as Georg Grosz and Otto Dix, angry expressionists whose modernism manifested itself...


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