Hans Feibusch (Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 15 August 1898, Germany – 18 July 1998, London, England) was a German painter and sculptor who lived and worked in Britain for much of his career, having escaped the Third Reich.
Feibusch was born to Jewish parents and studied in Paris under Andre L'Hote. He was becoming successful as an artist when the Third Reich made his life in Germany impossible. He was one of the artists exhibited in the 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition (Entartete Kunst) put on by the Nazis to highlight the modernist trends in art they opposed. Feibusch was one of a minority of artists included whose work was relatively conservative, and he was probably included for his Jewish heritage. His works in that exhibition, now lost, were two paintings of angels.
Escaping to England he converted to Christianity and was befriended by the Anglican Bishop Bell of Chichester, whose influence caused him to receive the first of his church commissions for murals on religious themes. Among the first of these is the mural in the private Bishop's chapel in the Palace at Chichester. This made use of the medieval wall already existing at the chapel's West end, containing blocked windows. Feibusch depicted people looking out of the windows. Many though not all of his murals are in the Diocese of Chichester.
Feibusch continued to do portraits and easel paintings but it is perhaps for his murals that he is now best known. He wrote a book Mural Painting, published in 1946, and published in a number of journals about mural painting. A celebration of his life work was held by The Twentieth Century Society in 1993, which was the first event of a reappraisal of his work in the final years of his long life.
Feibusch died four weeks short of his 100th birthday, just after attending a celebration of his work and life held at the Royal College of Art. His estate bequeathed the entire contents of his studio at the time of his death to the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. In the last years of his life he reverted to the faith of his youth and was buried with Jewish liturgy at Golders Green Jewish Cemetery.
His work was always representational but he developed early on an Expressionist use of colour and intensity of vision that distinguished his work throughout his long career. Feibusch used colour to accentuate intent and meaning. He especially liked orange against pinks and acid yellow against blues. The composition, often of closely grouped figures, are almost neo-classical in their arrangement and mannered poses. His figures often have an ethereal quality, as though defying gravity.
There is a series of 12 murals by Feibusch, each over 20 feet (6 m) tall, around the central hall of Newport Civic Centre telling the story of the history of Newport. The murals were commissioned by Newport Corporation in 1960 and painted during the period 1961-4.
He worked in a number of Anglican churches in the Diocese of Chichester, including the Pilgrim's progress at St Elisabeth's Eastbourne, Christ in Majesty at St Mary's Church, Goring-by-Sea, the Prodigal Son in All Saints, Iden, and St John Baptising Christ in the baptistery at Chichester Cathedral. Notable church works outside the Diocese of Chichester are his mural at Christchurch Priory, Dorset, visible the whole length of the church, and in London his immense mural of the Judgement in St Albans Holborn, his largest single work, alongside a set of paintings depicting the Stations of the Cross. He carried out several murals in the village of Portmeiron in Wales as a result of his friendship with Clough Williams-Ellis, and his portrait of Ellis is held in the National Portrait Gallery.
- Mural Painting by Hans Feibsusch, published by A&C Black, London 1946
- The Revelation of St John the Divine, illustrated by Feibusch, Collins, London 1946
- Hans Feibusch - the Heat of Vision, various contributors, Lund Humphries, London 1995
- Feibusch Murals: Chichester and Beyond, Alan Powers et al., University College Chichester 2005