Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hans Feibusch

Hans Feibusch, (1898 – 1998)
The Trinity in Glory 1966
Oil mural
29 ft. by 50 ft. (8.8 m by 15.2 m)
St. Alban's, Holborn, London

Hans Feibusch, (1898 – 1998) sculptor and muralist was born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany.

In 1933 he had to flee Germany as a result of the political climate.

He settled in England and became a prolific muralist of churches and cathedrals.

Between 1938 and 1970 he painted 40 murals included those at St Alban the Martyr in London, Chichester Cathedral and Goring Church in Sussex

He had converted to Christianity in 1965.But towards the end of his life, haunted and influenced by the tragedy of the Jewish experience, he reverted to Judaism. He is buried at Golders Green Jewish cemetery in London.

His work is clearly influenced by Christian baroque art. In his book on mural painting he describes the deep influence that baroque art had on him.

Bishop George Bell, the Anglican Bishop of Chichester, was a good friend of Hans Feibusch and there resulted a succession of Chichester commissions executed by Feibusch after 1939, including a controversial commision at a Church in Goring by Sea.

In his book, Mural Painting (1946), Feibusch wrote that " the interest in mural painting is reviving amongst architects, painters and the public ; the hopes for a great art to rise up again are higher than they have been for the last 150 years ".

If there was a revival in Britain of mural painting after 1946, much credit must go to Feibusch and Bishop Bell.