Lot 48
  • 48

Paul Klee

180,000 - 250,000 GBP
193,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Paul Klee
  • signed Klee (lower right); titled and dated 1921/47 on the artist's mount
  • watercolour, pen and ink and pencil on joint paper laid down on the artist's mount


Alexej von Jawlensky, Wiesbaden (acquired from the artist circa 1922)
Galka Scheyer, Hollywood (acquired from the above)
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York (sold: Parke Bernet, New York, 9th April 1969, lot 29)
Jerome L. Greene, New York (purchased at the above sale)
The Jewish Museum, New York (a gift of the above. Sold: Sotheby's, New York, 11th May 2000, lot 221)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Paul Klee. Paintings, Drawings, Prints, 1944, no. 67


Wolfgang Kersten & Osamu Okuda, Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung (exhibition catalogue), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf & Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, 1995, illustrated p. 344
Josef Helfenstein, 'Die kostbarsten und persönlichsten Geschenke', in Die Blaue Vier. Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee in der Neuen Welt  (exhibition catalogue), Kunstmuseum, Bern & Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 1997-98, illustrated p. 95
Paul Klee Stiftung (ed.), Paul Klee, Catalogue Raisonné, Bern, 1999, vol. III, no. 2638, illustrated p. 274
Klee and America (exhibition catalogue), Neue Galerie, New York; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. & The Menil Collection, Houston, 2006-07, illustrated p. 96

Catalogue Note

Architecture was one of the most important elements that influenced Klee's art in the early 1920s, and is the central subject of Architektur in Rot u Grün. Following the architect Walter Gropius's invitation to teach at the Bauhaus in October 1920, Klee moved to Weimer, and the subsequent years were to be the most innovative and productive of his career. Inspired by the Bauhaus belief in constructivist art, Klee's work became increasingly abstract and geometricised. The present work is a magnificent example of his new method of building up his composition out of mainly rectangular forms, combining them in a wonderfully poetic fashion. Furthermore, this work displays Klee's innovative technique of painting a composition on a larger sheet of paper, which he subsequently cut into several pieces, each framed with the artist's border that provides a sense of unity and coherence.


Initially, the present work formed the upper section of a larger work, combined with Zimmer Perspektive Rot/Grün, now at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (fig. 1). As Osamu Okuda explained: 'Klee apparently first drew a single composition with two points of view, producing one perspective in the upper section and a different one in the lower one. He then applied watercolour to this drawing in the complementary colors of red and green, and afterward redrew the network of lines in the lower part [...]. Klee then cut the original composition in two [...]. Significantly, Klee presented the upper portion to his artist friend Alexei Jawlensky, probably in 1922' (Osamu Okuda, op. cit., p. 96).



Fig. 1, Reconstruction of the original work combining Architektur in Rot u Grün (the present work) with Zimmer Perspektive Rot/Grün (now at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena)