Paul Klee (1879-1940)

Paul Klee was born near Berne, Switzerland in 1879. His Swiss mother was an amateur painter and his Bavarian father was a professor of music. As a child, Klee showed both musical and artistic talent, but finally decided to become an artist and went to Munich to study at the Fine Arts Academy. Klee's first exhibition held in Berne, in 1910, showed the influence of Cezanne, Matisse, and van Gogh. In 1912, Klee exhibited with the Blaue Reiter, but by the following year in a series of essays that appeared in Zurich, he had begun to state his own personal and spiritual approach to art. Until 1914, Klee had worked only in black and white or in watercolors, but during that year, on a trip to Tunisia with Macke, Klee began to see the potential of his use of color. Influenced by Cubism and interested in both children's and primitive art, he created small, jewel-like paintings in a personal language. His basic themes are nature and the man-made world of buildings and machines, and his works, although simple in appearance, are complicated in their inner meaning.
Klee's subtly differentiated moods range from laughter to tears. His witty titles are often as important as the paintings themselves, which combine an economy and precision of technique with the markings of a seemingly limitless imagination. Klee taught at the Bauhaus from 1921 to 1931 and then became professor of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf. In 1933, nine of his works were included in the degenerate art exhibition, the Nazis invaded his studio, and he was suspended from his post. Luckily, Klee was able to take his paintings, drawings, and writings with him when he sought refuge in his native Berne, where he continued to work until his death in 1940. 

Figurine: Kleiner Fürtfüfel