Paul Klee


Paul Klee was born on December 18, 1879 in Münchenbuchsee near Bern, and died on June 29, 1940 in Muralto. Swiss-German painter.
He came from a musical family – his father Hans Klee was a music teacher at a teachers’ seminary near Bern. In his early years, Paul wanted to become a musician, but eventually went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. However, he decided that they were not very developing for him and, accompanied by one of his friends, decided to start educating himself on his own, mainly by gathering experience by participating in numerous trips. He eventually settled in Munich, where he met artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. He soon joined the Der Blaue Reiter grouping. He also met Bavarian pianist Lily Stumpf, whom he married; they had one son.
In 1914, the artist visited Tunisia, which made a great impression on him. After World War I, in which he took an active part while serving in the German army, Klee taught at the Bauhaus and, from 1931, at the Düsseldorf Academy, until the Nazi party declared him the creator of “degenerate art.” In 1933, Klee returned to Switzerland; he was diagnosed with scleroderma in 1935. The disease progressed gradually until his death in Muralto, Switzerland, in 1940.
Klee created using oil paints, watercolors, and ink. He often mixed different techniques within 1 work. He was associated with various directions: expressionism, cubism and surrealism, but his works are difficult to clearly classify into any of these directions. Klee’s works, usually small in size, refer to poetry, music (elements of musical notation) and dreams. Later works consist of a network of distinctive “hieroglyphic” signs. His painting is primarily a dance of symbol, rhythm and sign. Klee’s better-known works include “Southern Gardens” (1919), “Ad Parnassum: (1932), and “Embrace” (1939).
A museum named after him was built in Bern, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Opened in June 2005, it brings together a collection of 4,000 works by Paul Klee, including 200 simultaneously open to the public.