“If you look closely at the lanky newspaper readers, who recall Feininger’s caricatures, you can read the headlines ‘Moltke-Harden.’ These headlines reference the greatest scandal in imperial Germany. The journalist Maximilian Harden had described members of the cabinet and friends of Kaiser Wilhelm II, including Kuno Graf von Moltke, as a ‘homoerotic roundtable of political sissies.’ This initiated a wave of charges and libel suits against Harden, but it also prompted discussions about homosexuality among the German public.”

- Lisa Zeitz, chief editor of Weltkunst, December 2021

Text/Image Swiper

Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956)

Paris (Newspaper Readers), 1908

Watercolor and ink on paper

10 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (26 x 21 cm)

Signed lower left: Feininger

Inscribed bottom left: X PARIS L.F.


In this wonderful watercolor, Paris (Newspaper Readers), 1908, Lyonel Feininger depicted Parisians consumed by the news of their own day. He based the work on sketches he had made. After completing the watercolor—which was in the Feininger family collection until now—he stayed with this scandalous subject and made an oil-on-canvas painting that same year, (Newspaper Readers I), 1908 (Moeller 042). Eight years later, in 1916, he made a second painting, also in oil, (Newspaper Readers III), 1916 (Moeller 175). In his paintings, Feininger retained the figures from his original watercolor, but he changed the setting from Paris to Weimar by lining the street in the background with the gabled houses typical of Thuringian architecture.


Left to right: Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956) | (Newspaper Readers I), 1908 | Oil on canvas | 28 13/16 x 26 13/16 in. (73 x 68 cm) | Moeller 042 | Whereabouts unknown // (Newspaper Readers III), 1916 | Oil on canvas | 40 7/8 x 36 13/16 in. (103.8 x 93.3 cm) | Moeller 175 | Private collection

Back To Top