- Paul Klee
- Die Glocke! (The Bell!)
- signed Klee (upper right); titled, dated 1919 and numbered 218 on the artist's mount
- watercolour on paper with paper borders laid down on the artist's mount
Private Collection, Germany (by descent from the above. Sold: Christie's, London, 6th February, 2006, lot 18)
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner
Paul Klee Foundation (ed.) Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, Bern, 1999, vol. 3, no. 2282, illustrated p. 132
In 1919 Klee secured a three-year contract with the dealer Hans Goltz, whose influential Munich gallery promoted his art, including a large retrospective exhibition of some 370 works held in 1920. It was later that year that Klee was invited by the architect Walter Gropius to teach at the Bauhaus, and subsequently moved to Weimar in 1921, when his work would become increasingly abstract and geometricised. The humorous note and child-like style of the present work and many others from this time were probably a reaction to the harsh reality of the aftermath of the First World War.
The first owners of Die Glocke! were the expressionist painter Heinrich Campendonk and his wife Adda. Campendonk and Klee formed part of the Blaue Reiter group based in Munich. Together with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, the artists sought to develop a new means of artistic expression and rejected the prevailing artistic theories of the time, in particular that of the Impressionists. Klee gave Die Glocke! to Campendonk in 1920 and it remained in his family's possession until 2006.