Lyonel Feininger was born on 17 July 1871 in New York. In 1887, he travelled to Germany to study music, but then spontaneously decided to become a draughtsman. Feininger attended a school of general vocational education in Hamburg, then later the Berlin Academy of Arts. Several stays in Paris. Rise to become one of the most sought-after caricaturists in Germany.
His 1901 marriage to Clara Fürst led to the births of Lore (1901–1991) and Marianne (1902–1999). In 1907, Feininger married the artist Julia Berg. This marriage led to the births of Andreas (1906–1999), Laurence (1909–1976) and Theodore Lux (1910–2011).
From 1905, Feininger turned towards printmaking, and in 1907 towards painting. Within just a few years, he became one of the most important representatives of modernism, presenting his works along with “Blue Rider” artists at the 1913 first German Autumn Salon at the Berlin gallery “Der Sturm”. His first solo exhibition followed there in 1917.
In 1917, the family spent the summer in Braunlage (in the Harz region), where Feininger developed his magnificent body of woodcut works. In 1919, Walter Gropius appointed him to a chair at the Bauhaus, where Feininger became a master of Formlehre, the theory of form, and, from 1920, also took over the printing workshop. The climax of his artistic success was the 1932 retrospective in Berlin's Kronprinzenpalais marking Feininger's 60th birthday.
After the dissolution of the Bauhaus in 1932 and the seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933, in 1937 the Feiningers moved to the USA, where the artist created his late works before his death on 13 January 1956 in New York.