Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Paul Klee, Fish Magic

Paul Klee, Fish Magic
Paul Klee, Fish Magic, 1925, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Wikimedia Commons.

Painting of the Week

Paul Klee, Fish Magic

When I was a child, my parents bought a poster showing a reproduction of a warmly-colored painting with two small camels and a donkey lost in a composition of abstract rectangles. It turned out to be Paul Klee. It was with these camels that my continuing fascination for the magic world of weird creatures living in Klee’s paintings began.

Paul Klee, Fish Magic
Paul Klee, Fish Magic, 1925, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Klee was born to a musicians’ family on 18th December 1879 in a small Swiss town near Bern. Both the picturesque Alpine landscape and musical traditions had a great impact on his future works. At first he was supposed to be a musician but he eventually decided on visual arts. At the age of 21, he moved to Munich, Germany to study at the Academy of Fine Arts.


What is absolutely surprising is that in the early years of his career Klee was strongly focused on drawing, leaving the colours marginalized. He wasn’t very successful until 1911 when he joined the editorial team of the almanac Der Blaue Reiter, founded by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky. The association of Expressionistic artists finally opened Klee up to the color theory. Moreover, a trip to Paris exposed him to the ferment of Cubism and early Abstract Art, leaving Klee fascinated by Robert Delaunay’s bold use of color.

Paul Klee, Fish Magic
Paul Klee, Two Camels and a Donkey, 1919. Detail

All these experiences prepared a solid ground for his artistic breakthrough, which came up during his travel to Tunisia. He wrote:


“Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever… Color and I are one. I am a painter.”

After returning home, his style took a completely new direction. He started to mix techniques – he enriched his wide graphics experience with a new palette of vivid colors, simultaneously moving towards an abstract manner of painting. That’s how Klee’s unique style was born and opened him the doors to a great career. Klee taught at the Bauhaus from January 1921 to April 1931, when the times got dark and uneasy and his art began to be considered as degenerate by the Nazis. Soon he had to flee back to Switzerland.

Paul Klee, Fish Magic
Paul Klee, Fish Magic, 1925, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Wikimedia Commons. Detail.

DailyArt Magazine Editor-in-Chief finishing her PhD in art history; editor, writer, stylist and adamant traveller almost constantly on the way

Comments

More in Painting of the Week

  • 19th Century

    Painting of the Week: Henri Fantin-Latour, Still Life

    By

    The greatest happiness can be found in the simple pleasures of daily life. Such simplicities could include the taste of fresh fruit, the smell of bold blooms, and the sight of crisp cloth. The stimulation of the senses can enrich lives as a meaningful interaction with...

  • Fede Galizia Still-Life cover Fede Galizia Still-Life cover

    featured

    Painting of the Week: Fede Galizia, A Glass Compote with Peaches, Jasmine Flowers, Quinces and a Grasshopper

    By

    Fede Galizia’s beautiful A Glass Compote with Peaches, Jasmine Flowers, Quinces and a Grasshopper is one of Italy’s first-ever still life paintings. Galizia was a pioneer in the still life genre, but few know her name or art today. Fede Galizia, Still Life Pioneer Fede Galizia...

  • Lyonel Feininger, Sailboats, 1929, Detroit Institute of Arts, USA. Detail. Lyonel Feininger, Sailboats, 1929, Detroit Institute of Arts, USA. Detail.

    20th century

    Painting of the Week: Lyonel Feninger, Sailboats

    By

    Cubism. The word instantly evokes images of Picasso and his figures with multiple noses. However, there is more than just Picasso who excels in this modern style. Lyonel Feininger is one such artist. His Sailboats from 1929 showcases the excitement of the Cubist style as well...

  • Leonardo da Vinci, The Lady with an Ermine Leonardo da Vinci, The Lady with an Ermine

    Painting of the Week

    Painting of the Week: Leonardo da Vinci, The Lady with an Ermine

    By

    One of the greatest masterpieces of Western art, The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, presents Cecilia Gallerani (ca. 1473–1536). Young, beautiful and talented, especially in the areas of music and literature, she entered the Court of Milan and wrote poetry, unfortunately unknown today....

  • dailyart

    Painting of the Week: Saint Anne

    By

    To the south of Egypt is the mysterious land of Nubia. It has a complex history due to the different states and religions that have occupied the area. The Kingdom of Nobadia was one of them. It existed from the 4th to 9th centuries CE and...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy