The Anglers (Black Bridge), 1942 - 1942

Basel 2016
Galerie Thomas
oil on canvas
43.5 x 58.5 (cm)
17.1 x 23.0 (inch)
Signed lower left. Signed, dated and titled verso on the stretcher. In 1906 Feininger wrote to his future wife Julia in Weimar: "How I am looking forward to the bridge I can't begin to tell you….and all the rest of Oberweimar, what you are describing is quite enchanting". Together they scampered off to Oberweimar, arrmed with folding chairs and sketchbook. Apart from the church, the bridge over the river Ilm became one of Feininger's favourite motifs. The number of works with this motif takes second place after Gelmeroda in his works created in Weimar and its vicinity. In 1909 he painted the famous "Green Bridge" and in 1916 he again used the motif in "Green Bridge II". The biggest difference between the versions is in Feininger's discovery of cubism. Like "The Anglers (Black Bridge)", it is pervaded by a rhythmic pattern. Feininger said that the symbol of the bridge had a special meaning for him even as a child. The significance became clear to him much later: stability. Thus it was a motif that he took up again after his return to the United States. When Feininger left Germany in 1937, he turned his back on the country that had been his chosen home for five decades. He felt uprooted and was reluctant to choose motifs from his new surroundings, even though he had been born in the USA. Many of the works painted in his first years there are nostalgic memories of landscapes that had greatly influenced him.