Paul Klee

Made by Naomi Sternstein and Brian Walsh

Created: October 15th, 2014


Paul Klee (1879-1940)

"Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever. That is the significance of this blessed moment. Color and I are one. I am a painter."

As an artist with great skill with color, he was also a great teacher at color mixing and theory. He wrote his great treatise, a collection of lectures, entitled Writings on Form and Design Theory, which is considered one of the most influential writings in modern art. 

Klee was a violinist- music heavily influenced his artwork (for example, the second painting here is called "ancient sound"). You can definitely feel a sense of fluidity in many of his paintings, similar to that of music.  He considered himself more of an artist than a musician, because art allowed him to explore more radical and free ideas. 

He worked a lot with mixed media, and often incorporated many materials into one work of art (for example, the second painting shows the use of gauche, watercolors, and linen, and the second painting is oil on cardboard)



1919; Gouache and watercolor on linen, 18.5x24.3 cms


Ancient Sound, Abstract on Black

1925; Oil on cardboard, 15 x 15 in

Ad Parnassum

1932; 39 x 50 in

This painting is considered Klee's masterpiece: it is where his sense of spatial and geometries and his color skills connect. S
mall blocks of shifting colors float through the background, set in place with a thick black outline, evincing the idea of a building or a house. He liked to build his paintings around themes that encompassed many different movements or ideas, for example the image in this painting might represent Apollo's palace, the pyramids that Klee saw, and a mountain near his house. 

Concepts that are important in Klee's works:

-color and tone

-light vs dark (where you look, what falls into the shadows)

-polychromatic and monochromatic

-warm vs cold colors

-calming effect

-geometric shapes