Feininger was already a successful cartoonist for several American newspapers and magazines, but his new surroundings inspired him to take up painting – with little formal preparation and with remarkable results.
Grisebach in Berlin is selling one of his earliest works on November 29, number 4 in the catalogue raisonné. It is a 7 x 5in (18 x 14cm) panel, The Towers of Notre-Dame in Paris, which has a guide price of €30,000-40,000.
Even though it is basically a sketch, the composition is complete. The artist captured the mood and light of the French capital while giving an accurate portrayal of the architectural details of the cathedral and the surrounding buildings.
It is a long way from the paintings usually associated with Feininger, but he wasted no time. Only two years after taking up painting, he joined the avant-garde Berlin Secession and went on to become one of Germany’s leading Expressionists.