Feininger was born to musician parents. He left America to study music in Germany in 1887 but soon switched to art. Although he made some lithographs and etchings, woodcuts form the bulk of his graphic work. He produced 237 of his 320 woodcuts between 1918 and 1920, developing a highly personal style early in his career. For Feininger, woodcut was the simplest and most direct medium, needing only a pocket knife and ordinary boards. Printing, too, required minimal equipment as he used the palm of his hand to press and transfer the inked image from the block to the paper.
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