Feininger was born in New York. In 1887 he went to Germany to study music but changed to art, studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, and Academie Colarossi in Paris. In 1893 he returned to Berlin and made a reputation as a satirical cartoonist and illustrator. He made his first oil paintings in 1907. In 1911 he en-countered Cubism, which had a decisive influence on the development of his own original painting style. He came to depict natural forms in rhythmical patterns. In 1913, at the urging of Franz Marc, he exhibited at the 1st Gentian Herbst-salon with the members of the Blaue Reiter. Between 1919 and 1933 he taught at the Bauhaus, at Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin. In 1937 he left for the United States.