We are grateful to Stefan Frey, Bern, for his kind assistance in cataloguing this lot.
One of the most repeated motifs in Klee's oeuvre occurs in the five different versions of The Singer of the Comic Opera. The present work, dating from 1925, is the only one executed as a print. It was produced at the behest of the merchant Otto Ralfs after he founded the Klee Society, a circle of the artist's friends who committed themselves to a yearly subscription for one or two prints by the artist, thus guaranteeing him additional income. It is believed that it was printed at the Bauhaus Press in Weimar. The extremely small edition, together with the hand-colouring and the personalized dedication of each print to its recipient, clearly indicate the artist's desire to produce prints of which every impression, to a certain degree, would be unique. The unusual method of colouring, using an atomizer, produces a mysterious atmosphere in which the linear image seems suspended.