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Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Paul Klee (1879-1940)

Bildnis Brigitte (Ganze Figur)

Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Bildnis Brigitte (Ganze Figur)
signed 'Klee' (lower right); titled and dated 'Brigitte, Ganze Figur 1928' (on the reverse)
watercolor, pen and black ink transfer on paper mounted by the artist on board
Sheet size: 12 x 9 in. (31.1 x 22.8 cm.)
Mount size: 14.1/8 x 10 in. (35.8 x 27.4 cm.)
Painted in 1928
The Mayor Gallery Limited, London
Sir Edward and Lady Hulton, London
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
N. Hulton, An Approach to Paul Klee, London, 1956, no. 17 (illustrated, p. 55).
P. Comte, Klee, Paris, 1989, no. 231 (illustrated, p. 168).
London, The Tate Gallery; York, City Art Gallery; and Chicago, The Arts Club, Works by Paul Klee from the Collection of Mrs. Edward Hulton, 1955-1956, no. 18.
Frankfurt, Stdisches Kunstinstitut, Paul Klee, 1963-1964.
Wuppertal, Kunst-und Museumverein; Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen; Frankfurt, Kunstverein; Munich, Stdische Galerie im Lenbachhaus; and Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall, Sammlung Sir Edward and Lady Hulton, London, autumn 1964-August 1965, no. 87.
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zrich, Sammlung Sir Edward and Lady Hulton, London, December 1967-January 1968, p. 21, no. 69.
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Klee, September-November 1973, no. 42 (illustrated).
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Surralisme et Peinture, February-April 1974, no. 9.
Cologne, Kunsthalle, Paul Klee, Das Werk der Jahre 1919-1933, April-June 1979, p. 126, no. 232 (illustrated, p. 292).
Sale Room Notice
This work is recorded as "1928, 64 (P 4)" in the artist's Oeuvre Catalogue.

Complete provenance and additional exhibition references for this work are as follows:
Prof. Dr. Hans Fehr, Muri
Klee-Gesellschaft, Bern (1949)
Gustav Kahnweiler/The Mayor Gallery, London (1950)
Sir Edward and Lady Hulton, London (acquired from the above in 1950)
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (1980)
Claude Mercier, Genf (acquired from the above in 1980)
Gnther and Sophie Franke, Munich
Bern, Kunsthalle, Paul Klee, Walter Helbig, Maurice de Vlaminck, Phillipp Bauknecht, Arnold Huggler, January-February 1931, no. 62.
London, The Mayor Gallery, Paul Klee, June 1950, no. 10.
Munich, Galerie Gnther Franke, Paul Klee, June-July 1975, no. 30.

Lot Essay

In 1914 Klee refered to his own sensibility as a "cool romanticism", applying a modern twist to the ideas of Jean Paul, Novalis and Eichendorff, German poets who flourished at the turn of the century. Klee shared their longing for the infinite and an inward communion with nature.

"Even the infectious playfulness of Klee's work is an out-and-out romantic trait. His talent for discovering new means of expression was not merely an end in itself. His constant play with new forms and his startling technical experiments were a deliberate way of avoiding rigidity and overly flat statements and of creating ambiguity. In short, like all romantics, what he sought even in his forms was a
ceaseless, playful activity and expansion of the mind and not the realization of an ideal in the classical sense of physical perfection." (J. Glaesemer, "Klee and German Romanticism," Paul Klee, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1987, p. 69).

The figure is central to Klee's pictorial universe, and in his playful manner it is natural that he should take to caricature as means of cooly reflecting on the foibles of the human character. Klee's figures often seem like marionettes, and express the artist's fatalistic vision that humans are helpless before a higher cosmic power.

"Even in his use of pictorial means, Klee was shifting his glance in opposite directions. Color for him tends to represent the "abstract", otherworldly side of his vision, whereas drawing is the means of coming to terms with the anecdotal, all-too-human lower levels of this world." (Ibid., pp. 74-75).

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