Lot 30
  • 30

Paul Klee

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
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  • Paul Klee
  • Ohne Titel (Tänzerin und Mondsichel) (Untitled. Dancer and Crescent Moon)
  • indistinctly signed (upper left); dated 1918. 5. on the artist's mount
  • watercolour on chalk-ground gauze on gold paper laid down on the artist’s mount
  • sheet size: 21.3 by 11.5cm., 8 3/8 by 4 1/2 in.
  • mount size: 26.7 by 16cm., 10 1/2 by 6 1/4 in.


Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Munich (April 1920)

Kunsthandlung Goyert, Cologne & Munich

Teschenmacher, Tegernsee (until 1959)

Sale: Kunstkabinett, Stuttgart, 20th & 21st November 1959, lot 377

Acquired by the family of the present owners in 1959


Munich, Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Paul Klee, 1920, no. 149

Darmstadt, Mathildenhöhe, 2. Internationale der Zeichnung, 1967, no. 28, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Cologne, Kunsthalle, Weltkunst aus Privatbesitz, 1968, no. G 5 (titled Tänzerin und Mondsichel)

Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Neue Pinakothek  (on loan 1978-2017)


Paul Klee Stiftung (ed.), Paul Klee Catalogue Raisonné, Bern, 1999, vol. II, no. 1852, illustrated p. 436

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1918 toward the end of the First World War, Ohne Titel combines many of the key characteristics of Klee’s early work in a composition of luminous optimism. During the war Klee took every opportunity to get away from the mundanity and oppression of his clerical job and devote time to his art; the works he produced are particularly jewel-like both in terms of richness of colour and of scale and see the artist exploring the distinctive blend of abstraction and figuration that would become one of the central themes of his œuvre. In the present work, which had also been known as Tänzerin und Mondsichel (dancer and crescent moon), Klee fills the composition with brightly-hued geometric shapes among which a figure is clearly discernible with a crescent moon resting in place of the head. The movement between verticals and diagonals and the contrast of the darker colours of the figure with the blues, greens, pinks and oranges of the background combine to imbue the work with a remarkable energy and positivity.

Ernst-Gerhard Güse explains how this use of colour led towards the universalism that Klee sought: ‘He [Klee] too saw nature and cosmos as determined by contrasts, movements and counter-movements […]. The contrasts of colours, their movement of separating and closing up, were simply an image of the all-embracing movement that he found in nature. In the work of art contrasts are transcended, “a formal cosmos is achieved, so much like the Creation that a mere breath suffices to transform religion into act”’(E.-G. Güse (ed.), Paul Klee. Dialogue with Nature, Munich, 1991, p. 14).