Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Episode at Kairouan

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1920
Medium:
Watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
9 1/4 × 12 3/8 in. (23.5 × 31.4 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.17
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1920/35 Scene aus Kairuan
Marianne Werefkin, Ascona (1920–at least 1924; received in late fall 1920 with another work by Klee, in exchange for works by Werefkin; on commission in 1924 to Sophie Küppers, Hannover); André Breton, Paris (probably until 1928 or 1931); his former wife, Simone Kahn Breton, later Collinet, Paris (probably 1928 or 1931–at least 1969); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1981–84; his gift to MMA)

Munich. Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz. "Paul Klee," May–June 1920, no. 248 (as for sale) [catalogue published in "Der Ararat" 2, May–June 1920, p. 24].

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism," December 7, 1936–January 17, 1937, no. 233 (as "Kairuan [Scene aus Kairuan]," lent by Mme. Simone Kahn, Paris).

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism," August 6–31, 1937, no catalogue.

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Paul Klee," November 25, 1969–February 16, 1970, no. 38 (lent by Mme Simone Collinet, Paris).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selection Two: Twentieth-Century Art," June 4–September 2, 1985, no catalogue.

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 45).

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 6–July 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (p. 106).

Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," January 22–April 16, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 107).

London. Tate Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," May 17–August 13, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 107).

Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Paul Klee: Selección de sesenta obras. The Berggruen Klee Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1989–January 1990, no. 15.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Landscapes," November 20, 1997–February 8, 1998, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Cities," June 22–September 5, 1999, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes by Klee and Kiefer," January 19–September 30, 2001, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee the Voyager," February 4–May 4, 2003, no catalogue.

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons. "Le génie de l'Orient, l'Europe moderne et les arts de l'Islam," April 2–July 4, 2011, no. 206 (as "Scène à Kairouan").

London. Tate Modern. "The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible," October 16, 2013–March 9, 2014, unnumbered cat. (p. 60).

Françoise Cachin-Nora in Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Musée national d'Art Moderne. Paris, 1969, p. 7, no. 38, ill.

Jürgen Glaesemer. Paul Klee. Die farbigen Werke im Kunstmuseum Bern: Gemälde, farbige Blätter, Hinterglasbilder und Plastiken. Bern, 1976, p. 32 n. 97.

Margareta Benz-Zauner. Werkanalytische Untersuchungen zu den Tunesien-Aquarellen Paul Klees. Frankfurt, 1984, pp. 181–82.

Kay Vernon in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 41, ill. p. 45 (color).

Sabine Rewald. Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 106–9, 170, 237, 275, 317, ill. (color and bw), notes that this work was transferred from Klee's pencil drawing "Woman with Child and Small Group of People" (1914; private collection, Germany; Helfenstein and Rümelin 2000, no. 1138), executed during his trip to the ancient city of Kairouan in Tunisia [see also MMA 1984.315.53 and 1987.455.14]; surmises that Klee traced the 1914 image in reverse because he considered the leftward movement of the figures to be awkward.

Stefan Frey in Paul Klee: Reisen in den Süden. "Reisefieber praecisiert". Ed. Uta Gerlach-Laxner and Ellen Schwinzer. Exh. cat., Gustav-Lübcke Museum, Hamm. Ostfildern, 1997, p. 247.

Josef Helfenstein in The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Klee in the New World. Ed. Vivian Endicott Barnett and Josef Helfenstein. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Bern. Cologne, 1997, p. 94, states that Werefkin gave Klee five paintings, two drawings, and two sketchbooks in 1920, and in exchange Klee gave her this work and another with the same title (present location unknown; Helfenstein and Rümelin 1999, no. 2381); suggests that Werefkin also wished to thank Klee and his wife for looking after Werefkin and Jawlensky's Munich apartment during World War I.

Jenny Anger. "Modernism and the Gendering of Paul Klee." PhD diss., Brown University, 1997, vol. 1, pp. 205, 207, calls it "Scene from Kairuan".

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 3, 1919–1922. New York, 1999, p. 164, no. 2380, ill., as "Scene aus Kairuan (Scene from Kairouan)".

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 4, 1923–1926. New York, 2000, p. 54, under no. 3146.

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 2, 1913–1918. New York, 2000, p. 128, under no. 1138.

Christian Rümelin in Paul Klee. Selected by Genius, 1917–1933. Ed. Roland Doschke. Exh. cat., Stadthalle Balingen. Munich, 2001, p. 217 n. 46, as "Scene from Kairouan".

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 6, 1931–1933. New York, 2002, p. 49, under no. 5433.

Rémi Labrusse. Islamophilies: L'Europe moderne et les arts de l'Islam. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons. Paris, 2011, pp. 292, 393, no. 206, ill. p. 308 (color).

Wolfgang Kersten in Paul Klee: Art in the Making 1883–1940. Ed. Wolfgang Kersten, Yūko Ikeda, and Kenjin Miwa. Exh. cat., National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. Kyoto, 2011, p. 53.

Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Ostfildern, 2012, pp. 150, 328 n. 4.

Katja Förster and Stefan Frey, ed. "In inniger Freundschaft": Alexej Jawlensky, Paul und Lily Klee, Marianne Werefkin. Der Briefwechsel. Zurich, 2013, pp. 262, 284, 296 n. 4, ill. p. 284 (color), note that Klee gave two watercolors (including this one) to Werefkin in late autumn 1920, the last pictures they exchanged; add that due to economic hardship in 1924, Werefkin commissioned Sophie Küppers to sell this work.

Michael Baumgartner in The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2013, pp. 206, 246, ill. p. 60 (color).

Michael Baumgartner in The Journey to Tunisia, 1914: Paul Klee, August Macke, Louis Moilliet. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Ostfildern, 2014, pp. 117, 124 n. 14, p. 322, no. 68, ill. p. 133 (color), calls it "Scene from Kairouan".



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