Peter H. Feist

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Peter H. Feist (2013)
Peter H. Feist in October 2009
Peter H. Feist (2006)

Peter Heinz Feist (mostly Peter H. Feist ; born July 29, 1928 in Warnsdorf ; † July 26, 2015 in Berlin ) was a German art historian .


Peter H. Feist was born and raised in Warnsdorf in North Bohemia in 1928. His father Georg H. Feist was a surgeon and moved with his wife from Prague to Warnsdorf in 1926 , where he took over the management of the municipal hospital. The mother Isolde Feist, born Sojka, was a nurse who, as a so-called half-Jewish woman, converted to Lutheranism in 1923 before her wedding; her father was a wealthy wine and liquor dealer from Reichenberg. In 1932 the parents divorced. The mother was later murdered together with her second husband and half-brother in 1944 in the Auschwitz concentration camp .

Peter H. Feist attended school and grammar school in Warnsdorf from 1934 to 1944. His Latin teacher was Rita Hetzer, who later became a Romance scholar and literary scholar Rita Schober , who was also a reviewer for his habilitation thesis in 1966 and whose professor he became in 1968 at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB). As a youth, Feist was still deployed as an anti-aircraft helper in Marienburg (West Prussia) in the last months of the Second World War from 1944 to early 1945 .

After the war the family moved to Lutherstadt Wittenberg . In 1947 he made up his Abitur there and then studied art history , history and classical and oriental archeology at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) until 1952 . In his diploma thesis he wrote about investigations into the importance of oriental influences for the art of the early Middle Ages . After completing his studies, he worked from 1952 to 1958 at the MLU as an assistant, aspirant, senior assistant and lecturer to Wilhelm Worringer at the Institute of Art History. March 11, 1958, he was there with the work , the style structure from the ancient Near East to the Romanesque art doctorate . Since 1954 he was a member of the SED .

Before moving to East Berlin with his family in 1962 , he worked as a senior assistant and perception lecturer at the Institute for Art History at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB) from 1958 . On November 14, 1966, after submitting a habilitation thesis on the subject of the enrichment and limitation of painting by French impressionism, he became. A contribution to the problem of art history in the second half of the 19th century habilitation . In 1967 he was appointed lecturer , in 1968 professor with teaching assignment and in 1969 full professor at the Aesthetics and Art Studies section of the HUB. From 1966 to 1968 he worked initially as an interim director of the Art History Institute, then until 1973 as deputy director of the Aesthetics and Art Studies section, and from 1977 as head of the Art History section at this section.

Since 1950 many study trips and conference visits, also lectures and guest lectures in most European countries (including London, Lund, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Sofia, Stockholm, Uppsala) as well as in Burma, India and the USA. In 1961 he published his first book on the painter Auguste Renoir , also in Polish and Hungarian; In 1987 a revised licensed edition followed in Cologne; the book has been translated into about 20 languages.

From 1982 until his early retirement from mid-1990, Feist was director of the Institute for Aesthetics and Art Studies at the Academy of Sciences of the GDR . He was a member of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin . In 1993 he retired. He worked on several books and published reviews and art criticisms in daily newspapers.

In 1950 Peter H. Feist and Gisela Münster (1927–2004) married, whom he met as a student of German and English in Halle; until 1959 she was a lecturer at the Workers and Farmers Faculty (ABF) at the University of Halle. In 1953, the son Michael Feist was born, who studied chemistry at the HUB from 1971 to 1975, received his doctorate in 1980 after completing an apprenticeship at the Moscow State Lomonosov University (MGU) and has since returned to the HUB as a research assistant. He has two daughters: Ulrike Holzapfel nee Feist (* 1978) and Katja Feist (* 1998).

Peter Heinz Feist last lived in Berlin-Pankow and died three days before his 87th birthday.

Memberships and honors (selection)


  • German Romanesque sculptures . 2nd edition. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1960.
  • Auguste Renoir . EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1961.
  • Paul Cezanne . EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1963.
  • Principles and methods of Marxist art history: Attempting to demolish it . EA Seemann, book and art publisher, Leipzig 1966.
  • Lexicon of Art. Leipzig 1968–1978, 1987–1994 (co-editor).
  • Impressionist painting in France . 3rd edition Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1972.
  • The National Gallery London . 4th edition EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 1976.
  • Artist, work of art and society. Studies in art history and the methodology of art history. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1978 (Fundus series 51/52).
  • Monet . 2nd edition. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1983.
  • History of German Art . EA Seemann Verlag, Leipzig. A total of 10 volumes, including 2 volumes edited by Peter H. Feist:
  1. Volume 1760-1848 . Leipzig 1986, ISBN 3-363-00003-0 . (including with Thomas Häntzsche, Ulrike Krenzlin , Gisold Lammel, Helga Paditz).
  2. Volume 1848-1890 . Leipzig 1987, ISBN 3-363-00050-2 . (with Dieter Golgner, Ulrike Krenzlin , Gisold Lammel, among others ).


  • Lothar Mertens : Lexicon of the GDR historians. Biographies and bibliographies on the historians from the German Democratic Republic. Saur, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-598-11673-X , p. 208.
  • Jan Wielgohs:  Feist, Peter Heinz . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Horst Bredekamp: Obituary. In: Peter H. Feist: Hauptstraßen and own ways, review of an art historian. Lukas Verlag for Art and Spiritual History, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-86732-231-7 .
  • Peter Betthausen, Michael Feist (Ed.): Gleanings. Views of fine arts and art history (text collection). Lukas Verlag für Kunst- und Geistesgeschichte, Berlin 2016, 200 pages (with complete bibliography), ISBN 978-3-86732-232-4 .
  • Peter Arlt (Ed.): Artist, Artwork and Society - Memorial Event for Peter H. Feist, December 8th, 2016. With contributions by Hans-Otto Dill , Emerita Pansowova, Fritz Jacobi , Jens Semrau, Ulrike Krenzlin , Gerd-Helge Vogel , Peter Arlt, Michael Feist, Harald Metzkes , Claude Keisch, Peter Michel (art historian ) , Ronald Paris , Diana Al-Jumaili. Meeting reports Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin, Volume 132, pp. 47–72, volume 2017. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag Dr. Wolfgang Weist, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86464-155-8 .
  • Curriculum Vitae Prof. Dr. Peter H. Feist. In: Peter Arlt (Ed.): Artists, Artwork and Society - Memorial Event for Peter H. Feist, December 8, 2016. Meeting reports Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin, Volume 132, pp. 161–164, volume 2017. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag Dr. Wolfgang Weist, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-86464-155-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrike Krenzlin : On the citizen who got lost in socialism - reflections on the "review of an art historian". In: Peter Arlt (Ed.): Artists, Artwork and Society - Memorial Event for Peter H. Feist, December 8, 2016. Meeting reports Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin. Volume 132, year 2017. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag Dr. Wolfgang Weist, Berlin 2017, pp. 35–45, ISBN 978-3-86464-155-8 .
  2. ^ Scientific journal of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg , Social and Linguistic Series 2, 1952/53, pp. 27–79
  3. martin weise // : Deutsche Guggenheim. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on May 10, 2017 ; accessed on August 27, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Obituary for MLS Peter H. Feist - Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin e. V. In: Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin e. V. July 31, 2015 ( [accessed on August 27, 2017]).
  5. ^ New members of the Academy of the Arts - Horst Sindermann presented certificates of appointment . In: Berliner Zeitung , September 30, 1972, p. 2.
  6. High awards given . In: Berliner Zeitung , April 23, 1988, p. 4.