Though it is unclear exactly where Michel Fingesten (1884–1943) was born in Silesia (a region today located in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany), he is known to have moved to Vienna at a young age to study art; and he is thought to have left for America in 1900. While traveling in the States he made a living providing illustrations for newspapers. Having returned to Europe in 1907 he studied with Franz Stuck in Munich. He is then known to have travelled throughout Asia, apparently spending four years in various places, before landing in Paris in 1911 and then settling in Berlin. The German capital became his home for two decades. He became an artist of renown, whose services were in high demand, especially as a graphic artist and printmaker. He seems to have exhibited often and won critical acclaim. His art was often irreverent and he showed a propensity towards erotic subjects. When his art was designated as ‘degenerate’ in 1933, Fingesten moved to Milan. Amongst other activities he organized exhibitions and produced work critical of the Nazi regime while in Italy. Of Jewish descent, he was sent to the Civitella del Tronto internment camp in 1940 and was later interned in Ferramonti di Tarsia. He died of an infection in Cosenza on 8 October 1943, a few days after the camp was liberated by the British Army.