(quoted in Christine Hopfengart & Michael Baumgartner, Paul Klee, Life and work, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, 2012, p. 66).
The delicate watercolour Junger Blaumond (Young blue-moon) was originally created as part of a diptyque representing a seascape by night, but Klee eventually decided to separate the seascape into two independent works. The upper part of the diptyque was subsequently named Fata Morgana zur See (Mirage by the sea). Compared to other nautical scenes created by the artist during World War I, the present work is particularly luminous. Junger Blaumond was created at a particular time in the artist’s life when colour returned to the forefront of his œuvre for the first time since his celebrated series of Tunisian landscapes in 1914. Inspired by a Chagall exhibition in Berlin in 1917, Klee introduces a palette of tender and transparent washes of colour complementing the fine lines of his drawing. The vibrant blue colour of the moon can be associated with the search for the “spiritual in art” promoted by the Blaue Reiter group, of which Klee was a founding member. The motif of the moon appears to be of great importance to the artist, as stated in one of his notebooks: 'April 12. The evening is indescribable. On top of it all the full moon rises. L. is prodding me. He wants me to paint it. I say: it won’t be any more than an exercise. In the face of such nature I am bound to fail. And yet I know something more than I did before. I know the road from my failure to nature. That is an internal affair to keep me busy for the next few years. It doesn’t trouble me one bit. No use hurrying when you want so much. This evening is deep inside me – forever' (quoted in Christine Hopfengart & Michael Baumgartner, Paul Klee, Life and work, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, 2012, p. 66).
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