Friederich Feigl

1884 - 1965

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Painter Fred (Bedřich, Friedrich, Fritz) Feigl was born into a Jewish family in Prague, Bohemia on 6 March 1884. He studied briefly at the Prague Academy of Arts – from which he was expelled owing to his enthusiasm for the avant-garde artists Munch, Van Gogh and Gauguin – and subsequently, at the Antwerp Academy of Art (1904–5) and the Académie Julian in Paris, and co-founded the reactionary art group ‘Osma’ (The Eight) in 1908. Afterwards, he settled in Hamburg in 1910 and established a significant reputation in Germany, and in Palestine (1932). Although he returned to Czechoslovakia in 1933, following the Nazi occupation, he was forced to flee Prague in April 1939 and settled in London. There, he mixed in émigré circles, exhibiting at the Wertheim Gallery (1940) and at the Czechoslovak Institute (1944), as well as at Ben Uri in 1959, 1963 and 1964, where he was also a member of the Arts Committee in 1949–63. His work included depictions of coffee houses and restaurants, which he referred to as ‘the marketplaces of life’, as well as Biblical lore, Greek mythology, portraits and landscapes, and he developed a particular affinity for watercolours. Frederick Feigl died in London, England on 19 December 1965.