360A
360A

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SHERAH ROSEN AND RACHEL ROSEN RABINOWITZ

Paul Klee
DER HELDENTENOR ALS KONZERTSÄNGER (THE HEROIC TENOR AS A CONCERT SINGER)
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360A

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SHERAH ROSEN AND RACHEL ROSEN RABINOWITZ

Paul Klee
DER HELDENTENOR ALS KONZERTSÄNGER (THE HEROIC TENOR AS A CONCERT SINGER)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Paul Klee
1879 - 1940
DER HELDENTENOR ALS KONZERTSÄNGER (THE HEROIC TENOR AS A CONCERT SINGER)
signed Klee (towards lower right); dated 1922, numbered 144 and titled (on the artist's mount)
watercolor and oil transfer on paper mounted on card
image size: 28.1 by 39.1cm., 11 1/8 by 15 3/8 in.
mount size: 37.6 by 49.9cm., 14 7/8 by 19 5/8 in.
Executed in 1922.
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Provenance

Katherine S. Dreier, New York 
Galka E. Scheyer, Braunschweig, New York, San Francisco & Los Angeles (acquired by 1926)
Ida Bienert, Dresden & Munich
Moderne Galerie Otto Stangl, Munich
Berggruen et Cie., Paris 
Saidenberg Gallery, Inc., New York (acquired by 1955)
Selma & Israel Rosen, Baltimore (acquired from the above in December 1955)
Thence by descent to the present owners

Exhibited

New York, Saidenberg Gallery, Paul Klee, 1955, no. 12, illustrated in the catalogue
Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art, Modern Art for Baltimore, 1957
Waltham, Brandeis University, Paul Klee, 1960, no. 10
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Pasadena, Pasadena Art Museum; San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art; Columbus, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts; Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art; Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art; Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Art; St. Louis, Washington University, Gallery of Art & Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Paul Klee 1879-1940, A Retrospective Exhibition, 1967-68, no. 52

Literature

Will Grohmann, Privatsammlungen neuer Kunst. Die Sammlung Ida Bienert Dresden, Potsdam, 1933, p. 22
Will Grohmann, Paul Klee, Stuttgart, 1954, pp. 79 & 192
Felix Klee, Paul Klee. Leben und Werk in Dokumenten, ausgewählt aus den nachgelassenen Aufzeichnungen und den unveröffentlichten Briefen, Zurich, 1960, p. 138
Selma & Israel Rosen (eds.), The Selma & Israel Rosen Collection, Baltimore, 1986, illustrated n.p.
The Paul Klee Foundation (ed.), Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, Bern, 1999, vol. III, no. 2968, illustrated p. 433

Catalogue Note

Music served as a driving source of inspiration throughout Klee’s career. When he became a professor at the Bauhaus in 1920, he was inspired to devise an approach for teaching young artists. With his extensive musical background—his parents were musicians and he himself a talented violinist—it is only logical that he turned to the language and terms of music as a means to define and encounter the visual arts.

Although Klee’s musical investigations were predominantly formal in nature, there are periodical moments in his oeuvre when these theoretical discussions are punctuated with rather more whimsical—and frequently comic or autobiographical—compositions, such as that of the present work. At the peak of the Weimar era, Klee attended the opera nearly every night, and the fantastical figure of the tenor singer in Der Heldentenor als Konzertsänger is likely inspired by one of the performances he saw there. Will Grohmann explained Klee’s deep attraction to the stage, writing, “It was not the music alone that attracted him; he had a highly developed sympathy for that world of the contradictory, the illogical, the abstract… Klee liked the detached quality of operatic action; its human characters represent elementary facts rather than psychological entities like Good and Evil, the Pure and the Demonic, Ugliness and Beauty. The symbolic content is shared among a number of figures, so that the general is embodied in the individual” (Will Grohmann, op. cit, 1954, p. 245-46).

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