Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Klee, Paul

Moonrise and Sunset
oil on board
40.5 x 34.5 cm
private collection

Paul Klee (1879 – 1940) was born in Switzerland, into a family of musicians, and is considered both a Swiss and a German painter. His childhood love of music was always to remain profoundly important in his life and work.

Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually mastered color theory, and wrote extensively about it; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory, published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are considered so important for modern art that they are compared to the importance that Leonardo da Vinci's A Treatise on Painting had for Renaissance. He had a natural sensitivity to music, the least material of the arts, and it runs through all his work, clarifying his spellbinding color and dematerializing his images.

Klee went to Dusseldorf to teach at the Akademie in 1931, shortly before the Nazis closed the Bauhaus. Forced by the Nazis to leave his position in Dusseldorf in 1933, Klee settled in Bern the following year. Klee died on June 29, 1940, in Muralto-Locarno, Switzerland.