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


Paul Klee (1879-1940)
indistinctly signed 'Klee' (lower right)
gouache, watercolor and charcoal on prepared paper
12¼ x 19 in. (31.3 x 48.7 cm.)
Executed in 1937
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Paris.
Karl Nierendorf, Cologne (by 1938).
Stössl, Zurich.
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (by 1961).
Albert Turrettini, Satigny (by 1964).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, London, 4 December 1968, lot 88.
Gallery Stephen Hahn, New York (by 1968).
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 2 July 1974, lot 157.
Serge Sabarsky, Inc., New York.
Galerie d'Art Moderne, Basel.
Galerie Beyeler, Basel.
Acquired from the above by the late owners.
Verve, no. 3, 1938, p. 115 (illustrated).
S. Takiguchi, "Paul Klee," Atelier, vol. 17, no. 4, 1940 (illustrated).
K. Nierendorf, ed., Paul Klee, Paintings, Watercolours 1913-1939, New York, 1941, p. 30 (illustrated).
J. Spiller, ed., Paul Klee. Unendliche Naturgeschichte. Prinzipielle Ordnung der bildnerischen Mittel verbunden mit Naturstudium, und konstruktive Kompositionswege. Form- und Gestaltungslehre, Basel, 1970, vol. 2 (illustrated).
J. Smith Pierce, Paul Klee and Primitive Art, New York, 1976, pp. 19 and 67.
A. Kagan, Paul Klee, Art & Music, Ithaca, 1983, p. 131 (illustrated).
R. Verdi, Klee and Nature, London, 1984, p. 167 (illustrated).
P. Delamater, Klee and India: Krishna Themes in the Art of Paul Klee, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1991, p. 151f.
The Paul Klee Foundation, ed., Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, Bern, 2003, vol. 7, p. 255, no. 7057 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Simon, Paul Klee, Oeuvres récentes, January-February 1938, no. 21.
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Paul Klee, March-April 1963, no. 53 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Tarica, Paul Klee, November-December 1963 (illustrated).
Munich, Galerie Günther Franke, Paul Klee, June-July 1975, no. 41.
Sale Room Notice
Please note the correct medium:

gouache, watercolor and charcoal on prepared paper

Lot Essay

Painted in 1937, Winterschlaf, or "Hibernation," depicts a sleeping female figure integrated into the forms of a winter landscape. Using a bare minimum of means characteristic of his late style, Klee here constructs a magical realm with only a few cipher-like lines and curves set in a delicate mottled field of color. Part landscape, part figure, part abstract part, calligraphy or hieroglyph, the painting's magical fusion of form, line and color conjures an ethereal world of winter-sleep invigorated only by the vibrant but tiny red heart beating at the center of a mound that also serves as the sleeping woman's stomach.

A charmingly poetic visual expression of hibernation and a sleepy winter landscape, this exquisite work may also have held a poignant meaning for Klee himself, being one of an extensive number of paintings made after an enforced break from work due to illness throughout most of 1936 and the winter of 1937.

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