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Paul Klee (1879-1940) Dorf bei Bern signed 'Klee' (lower right); inscribed, dated and numbered 'Dorf bei Bern 1912 78' (on the mount) watercolor and tempera over pencil on paper laid down by the artist on board Sheet size: 4¾ x 8 7/8 in. (12.1 x 22.5 cm.) Mount size: 7 5/8 x 11 5/8 in. (19.5 x 29.6 cm.) Painted in 1912
Provenance
Gehört Sonderegger, Bern.
Estate of Ernst Sonderegger, Bern (1956-1957).
Richard H. Zinser, Forest Hills (1957).
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London.
Literature
Paul Klee Stiftung, ed., Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, Bern, 1998, vol. 1, p. 451, no. 789 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Munich, Neuer Kunstsalon Schmidt und Dietzel, March 1913.

Lot Essay

Klee spent most of the year 1912 in Munich, where he lived on the same street as Wassily Kandinsky. Klee was a founding member of the young artist's group Sema ("Sign") and in early 1912 joined Kandinsky's Blauer Reiter. In April he traveled to Paris for two weeks, and with a letter of introduction from Kandinsky met Robert Delaunay and Henri le Fauconnier, and saw paintings by Picasso and Braque in Wilhelm Udhe's collection.
He returned to Munich and after participating in several group exhibitions in Germany and Switzerland took several weeks of summer vacation in Bern, where he had grown up and his parents still lived, and Hilterfingen, where his aunt had a small house.

During his summer holidays in Switzerland Klee liked to paint landscapes. An entry from his 1912 diary suggests the influences at work in his painting:

Do not laugh, reader! Children also have more artistic ability, and there is wisdom in their having it! The more helpless they are, the more instructive are the examples they furnish us; and they must be preserved free of corruption from an early age. Parallel phenomena are provided by the works of the mentally diseased. All this is to be taken very seriously, more seriously than all the public galleries, when it comes to reforming today's art. (quoted in Felix Klee, ed., The Diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918, Berkeley, 1964, p. 266)

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