Lot 32
  • 32

Lyonel Feininger

300,000 - 400,000 GBP
329,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Lyonel Feininger
  • Sternenschiff II (Ship of Stars II)
  • signed Feininger (lower left); signed Feininger, titled and dated 1937 on the stretcher
  • oil on canvas
  • 50.5 by 72.5cm.
  • 19 7/8 by 28 1/2 in.


Julia Feininger, New York (the artist's wife)

T. Lux & Patricia Feininger, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sold: Kunstkabinett Ketterer, Stuttgart, 3rd & 4th May 1962, lot 96)

Private Collection, Germany (purchased at the above sale)

Thence by descent to the present owner


Oakland, Mills College Art Gallery; San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art; Santa Barbara; Los Angeles, Los Angeles Art Association University Gallery; Andover, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy & Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, 2nd Feininger Exhibition: 35 New Paintings, 130 Drawings and Prints by Lyonel Feininger, 1937, no. 26

Andover, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Paintings, Water Colors, Drawings and Wood Cuts by Lyonel Feininger, 1938, no. 17

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Lyonel Feininger, Marsden Hartley, 1944-45

Poughkeepsie, Vassar College Art Gallery; Boston, Boston Symphony Orchestra Hall; Amherst, Amherst College; San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art; St. Louis, City Art Museum of St. Louis; St. Paul, St. Paul Gallery and Art School; Fort Worth, Fort Worth Museum Art Association; Buffalo, Albright Art Gallery; Tulsa, Philbrook Art Center & Louisville, J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, Lyonel Feininger, 1945-46

San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lyonel Feininger and Jacques Villion, 1947

Memphis, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery; New Orleans, Tulane University; Winston-Salem, Public Library of Winston-Salem; Georgetown, Southwestern University; Louisville, J.B. Speed Art Museum; Exeter, Phillips Exeter Academy; Winter Park, The Morse Gallery of Art, Rollins College; Richmond, Richmond Artists Association; Moorhead, Concordia College; Gainesville, University of Florida; Savannah, Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences & Chattanooga, Hunter Gallery of Art, Three Modern Painters: Beckmann, Feininger, Hartley, 1955-57, no. 9


Hans Hess, Lyonel Feininger, London, 1961, no. 386, illustrated p. 285

Karin Zaugg, 'Die Blaue Vier - Briefe', in Vivian Endicott Barnett & Josef Helfenstein (eds.), Die Blaue Vier: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee in der Neuen Welt, Bern, 1997, mentioned pp. 317-318

Hans Schulz-Vanselow, Lyonel Feininger und Pommern, Kiel, 1999, mentioned p. 287

Achim Moeller (ed.), Years of Friendship, 1944-1956. The Correspondence of Lyonel Feininger and Mark Tobey, Ostfildern-Ruit, 2006, mentioned pp. 40-41

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1937, Sternenschiff II dates from the last months Feininger spent in Berlin, shortly before he left for the United States in June of that year. During this time the image of a sailing boat on the high seas provided Feininger with a major source of inspiration for his paintings, including Sternenschiff I, formerly in the collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Hans Hess wrote about the present work: ‘in Ship of Stars II the painter breaks through the hard form of the preceding pictures, and, suddenly, a true magic quality appears, with a ship floating in a space of its own, holding its own secrets and releasing itself from the bounds of reality – a sailing boat as unreal as the Flying Dutchman […]; in the Ship of Stars the boat has taken hold of the sea [… it] shapes the waves in its own reflection’ (H. Hess, op. cit., p. 131).


Hess further discusses this work in the larger context of Feininger’s œuvre: ‘The Ship of Stars II is closely related to the many fantastic “children’s drawings,” as he called them himself, of the years 1918 and 1919. […] The Ship of Stars links Feininger’s magic fantasy of his early years with his late work. One might, in the Ship of Stars, see a forerunner of Feininger’s late style or one might think of it as the link that connects the young painter with his later self. A truly magic quality will appear in paintings much later in his life. The Ship of Stars still stands alone’ (ibid., p. 132).

Additional information for this catalogue entry has been provided by The Lyonel Feininger Project LLC, New York - Berlin.