Feininger was born in New York to a German-American family. He moved to Germany in 1887, with the intention of studying music, but instead studied art in Hamburg, Berlin and Paris until 1893. At the turn of the century, Feininger was one of Germany's leading comic cartoonists and went on to produce some of America's most famous comic strips. In 1911 he visited Paris and saw cubist paintings for the first time. Thereafter, in his own paintings he began to use a distinctive grid-like structure and specialized in painting churches and seascapes full of a romantic spirituality. Feininger taught at the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1925 and was in charge of the printing workshops. He returned to New York in 1937.