Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Pathos of Fertility

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1921
Medium:
Watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with ink, mounted on the verso of a lithograph by Paul Rohrbach
Dimensions:
20 1/8 × 15 7/8 in. (51.1 × 40.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.28
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 912
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Klee; dated and inscribed on mount: 1921/130 Das Pathos der Fruchtbarkeit
[Galka Scheyer, Los Angeles, by 1925–d. 1945; her bequest to Lily Klee]; Lily Klee, Bern (1945–46); Klee Gesellschaft, Bern (1946–47); [Karl Nierendorf, New York, 1947; his estate, 1947–48; sold in 1948 to Guggenheim]; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1948–71; in November 1971 to Beyeler); [Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1971–72; sold in 1972 to Plouvier]; G. Plouvier, Paris (from 1972); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1974–84; his gift to MMA)

Berlin. Kronprinzenpalais, Nationalgalerie. "Paul Klee," February 1923, no catalogue.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," April 14–May 5, 1941, no. 17 [addenda to the exhibition of The Museum of Modern Art].

Los Angeles. Stendahl Art Galleries. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," May 8–18, 1941, no. 17 [addenda to the exhibition of The Museum of Modern Art].

New York. Nierendorf Gallery. "A Comprehensive Exhibition of Works by Paul Klee from the Estate of the Artist," October 1947, no. 26.

Basel. Galerie Beyeler. "Klee: 'Kunst ist ein Schöpfungsgleichnis'," September–November 1973, no. 17.

Tokyo. Fuji Television Gallery. "Exhibition of Paul Klee," October 23–November 21, 1981, no. 8 (lent by Heinz Berggruen).

Osaka. Gallery Kasahara. "Exhibition of Paul Klee," November 27–December 12, 1981, no catalogue.

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. 149).

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. 149).

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. 149).

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. 28.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee in New York," July 26–December 1, 1996, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: Figures and Faces," August 23–November 16, 1997, no catalogue.

Haus der Kunst München. "Paul Klee. In der Maske des Mythos. In the Mask of Myth," October 1, 1999–January 9, 2000, no. 42.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Line," March 18–July 9, 2000, no catalogue.

London. Hayward Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation," January 17–April 1, 2002, no. 26.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus (1921–1931)," November 19, 2004–April 3, 2005, no catalogue.

Gérard Barrière. "Paul Klee." Connaissance des arts no. 266 (April 1974), ill. p. 109 (color), reproduces this picture in a review of an exhibition at the Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris [this picture is not included in the exhibition catalogue].

Haruo Arikawa in Exhibition of Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Fuji Television Gallery. Tokyo, 1981, p. 67, no. 8, ill. p. 35.

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. 148–49, 279, 318, ill. (color and bw), remarks that Klee bought old frames at the Auer Dult flea market in Munich, sometimes painting on the verso of prints found in the frames, as with this picture mounted on the back of a lithograph by Paul Rohrbach of Rudolf Jordan's 1842 painting, "Pilot's Examination"; compares this image of a flowerpot growing inside a pregnant woman to Picasso's later portraits of Marie-Thérèse Walter.

Robert and Leda Natkin. "Exhibition Reviews: Paul Klee." Modern Painters 2 (Summer 1989), p. 98.

Pamela Lynn Kort. "The Ugly Face of Beauty. Paul Klee's Images of Aphrodite." PhD diss., University of California Los Angeles, 1994, pp. 105, 401 n. 245, fig. 90.

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, pp. 327, 340, no. 2721, ill.

Vivian Endicott Barnett. The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum. [Pasadena], 2002, pp. 300–1, fig. 322A, discusses the drawing for this picture (Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; HR 1999, no. 2761).

Robert Kudielka in Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation, Works 1914–1940. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 2002, pp. 55, 196, no. 26, ill. p. 69 (color).

Bradford Epley and Christa Haiml in Klee and America. Ed. Josef Helfenstein and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Houston, 2006, p. 262 n. 18.



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