The Life and works of Paul Klee


Born in December 18, 1879 Paul Klee is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. He was raised in an artistic environment as his father was a music teacher. Although he was a talented violinist, his heart was soon captured by the visual arts. His works of art were influenced by expressionism, cubism and surrealism. He was a pioneer for the modern art and his color theories are vital for contemporary artists. His work reflects humor and childishness but is also influenced by his musical talent.

His artistic career in the visual arts started at the age of 19 when he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. His first exhibited works were a collection of etchings called “Inventions”. He married pianist Lily Stumpf in 1905 and had a son Felix. His family life slowed down his career for a few years but in 1910 he managed to hold his first solo exhibition. He soon entered an artistic scene that motivated him to achieve greater performances. During this time he painted “ In the Quarry” which is the result of various watercolor experiments. In 1941 he had an artistic epiphany and started to engage in abstract art. Inspired by the color quality in Tunisia he created his first pure abstract painting named“In the Style of Kairouan”. The intonations of color present in this painting inspire a musical feeling.

World War I had a big influence the artist’s style and inspiration. He created a lot of lithographs of war scenes but the most representative one is “Death for the Idea”, an art piece that evokes the pain and the loss that he suffered during the war. However the future was still bright for the young Paul Klee as he soon caught the eye of various art critics. As many great artists, he wished to influence the minds of young artists and he started teaching at Bauhaus. His ten years teaching here also included a lot of traveling. Accompaniment by 3 artist friends he toured the United States in order to exhibit his works. In 1933 and 1934 he had a lot of exhibits in France. During this time he met Pablo Picasso, an artist that he greatly admired. In 1932 he finished the painting that is considered to be his masterpiece.” Ad Parnassum” is a complex painting that expresses the painter’s ability to experiment with colors and create remarkable techniques.

Soon after Paul Klee emigrated to Switzerland accompanied by his family. Although he was born in this country he didn’t manage to obtain citizenship. His art was too controversial and it was even considered degenerate by the local authorities. Towards the end of his life he was struck down by a painful disease. He died on 29 June 1940 leaving behind about 9000 works of art.