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

Bäume am Wasser

Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Bäume am Wasser
signed 'Klee' (lower right); dated, numbered and inscribed '1933 H 2 Bäume am Wasser' (on the artist's mount)
pastel and gouache on linen laid down on the artist's mount
image: 16 x 18 ½ in. (40.8 x 47 cm.)
artist's mount: 18 x 22 in. (45.5 x 56 cm.)
Executed in 1933
Lily Klee, Bern, by descent from the artist in 1940.
Klee-Gesellschaft, Bern, by whom acquired from the above on 20 September 1946, and until circa 1950.
Werner Allenbach, Bern, by whom acquired from the above circa 1950, and until 1956.
Galerie Berggruen & Cie. (Heinz Berggruen), Paris, by 1956.
S. McLeod, New York, by 1956.
Galerie Nathan [Dr Fritz Nathan], Zurich, until 1959.
World House Galleries [Herbert Mayer], New York, by whom acquired from the above on 4 June 1959, and until at least 1960.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 5 December 1962, lot 178.
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London (no. 1822), by whom acquired at the above sale.
Private collection, Europe.
H. Kramer, 'Paul Klee in 1960', in Art International, Zurich, vol. IV, nos. 2-3, 1960, pp. 28-31 (illustrated p. 31).
The Paul Klee Foundation, ed., Paul Klee: Catalogue raisonné, vol. VI, 1931-1933, Bern, 2002, no. 6489, p. 488 (illustrated pp. 438 & 488).
H. Suter, Paul Klee und seine Krankheit: Vom Schicksal geschlagen, vom Leiden gezeichnet - und dennoch!, Bern, 2006, no. 174, p. 226 (illustrated).
New York, World House Galleries, Paul Klee, March - April 1960, no. 29. (illustrated; with incorrect dimensions).
London, Marlborough New London Gallery, Aspects of Twentieth Century Art, July - August 1963, no. 34 (illustrated).

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Ottavia Marchitelli
Ottavia Marchitelli

Lot Essay

'The desire to create art not in imitation of nature, but parallel to it, was nothing new for Paul Klee’s time; it had been the declared intention already of Paul Cézanne. In a speech given in 1924 at the opening of an exhibition of modern art in Jena, Klee compared the artist to a tree trunk that gathers from the depths and channels its substance to the treetop, which for him was the work of art. As Klee observed, no one would "expect a tree to form its crown in exactly the same way as its roots"; rather, he argued for freedom for art, whose response to natural prototypes should not have to constitute a "scientific check on fidelity to nature." Klee’s desire was to make works prompted not merely by the outward appearance of nature, but an art which, like creation itself, would emanate from an inner, life-giving creative process that in turn would remain vital within the work.'
(A. Daemgen in, The Klee Universe, Ostfildern, 2008, p. 207)

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