Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Gypsum, oil, and charcoal on cardboard
7 1/2 × 11 in. (19.1 × 27.9 cm)
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 5
Here, Klee inventively transforms the industrial city of Duisburg into an upbeat pictogram. A seascape, with boats, a shoreline, and rippling waves, is abbreviated into outlines set against muted tones of mauve, green, peach, rose, and buff. Klee uses open geometric forms for the houses and boats in the upper half of the picture, where one color plane blends into another. Meanwhile, the Rhine River appears as squiggly lines. This work may evoke the happy years Klee spent in the nearby city of Düsseldorf from 1931 to 1933.
Inscription: Signed (upper left): Klee; signed, dated, and inscribed (verso): 1937 R 5/ der Rhein bei Duisburg/ Klee
the artist, Bern (1937–d. 1940); his widow, Lily Klee, Bern (1940–46); Paul Klee Society, later Paul Klee Foundation, Bern (1946–at least 1950; on consignment 1948–at least 1950 to Buchholz Gallery [Curt Valentin], New York, no. 10331]; [J. B. Neumann, New York]; Frederick C. Schang, South Norwalk and New York (by 1951–at least 1952); [Berggruen et Cie, Paris, in 1956]; G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh; Rolf E. Stenersen, Oslo and Bergen (by 1958–at least 1964); sale, Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich, May 17–18, 1968, no. 583; sale, Sotheby's, London, April 30, 1969, no. 96, sold to Beyeler; [Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1969–70; sold in 1970 to Modorati); Dr. Modorati, Monza, Italy (from 1970); (sale, Sotheby's, London, December 5, 1979, no. 61, sold to Berggruen); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1979–84; his gift to MMA)
Kunsthaus Zürich. "Klee," February 16–March 25, 1940, no. 142 (as for sale, SFr 400).
New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin). "Paul Klee," May 2–27, 1950, no. 20 (as "Rhine near Duisburg [Der Rhein bei Duisburg]").
Stockholm. Samlaren. "Paul Klee i Rolf Stenersens samling," spring 1958, no. 26.
Konstmuseum, Göteborg. "Paul Klee i Rolf Stenersens samling," October 30–November 23, 1958, no. 26.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Collectie Rolf E. Stenersen," June 1962, no. 77.
Nationalgalerie Oslo. "Rolf Stenersens Samling," November–December 1962, no. 67.
Stockholm. Moderna Museet, Stockholm. "Munch-Picasso-Klee ur Rolf Stenersens samling," December 4–20, 1964, no. 135 (listed as a watercolor).
Milan. Galleria Eunomia. "Paul Klee," January 1972, unnumbered cat.
Tokyo. Fuji Television Gallery. "Exhibition of Paul Klee," October 23–November 21, 1981, no. 29 (as "Der Rhein bei Duisburg [The Rhine near Duisberg]," 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. 252).
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. 263).
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. 263).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," December 6, 1996–April 13, 1997, no catalogue.
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. "Klee Paintings," September 14, 1999–March 12, 2000, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cityscapes by Klee and Feininger," September 25, 2002–January 26, 2003, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee the Voyager," February 4–May 4, 2003, no catalogue.
Basel. Fondation Beyeler. "Paul Klee—Die Erfüllung im Spätwerk (Paul Klee—Fulfillment in the Late Work)," August 10–November 9, 2003, no. 27.
Sprengel Museum Hannover. "Paul Klee—Tod und Feuer. Die Erfüllung im Spätwerk (Paul Klee—Death and Fire. Fulfillment in the Late Work)," November 23, 2003–February 15, 2004, no. 27.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: The Late Years," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," October 18, 2012–March 31, 2013, no catalogue.
Paul Klee: Collection of F. C. Schang, South Norwalk, Connecticut. South Norwalk, Conn., January 1, 1952, unpaginated brochure, no. 37, as "Rhine near Duisburg".
Jürg Spiller, ed. Paul Klee: The Thinking Eye. The Notebooks of Paul Klee. New York, 1961, pp. 517, 520, 528, ill. p. 290 [German ed, Basel, 1956, pp. 517, 521, 528, ill. p. 290], as in the collection of Heinz Berggruen, Paris.
Christina Kröll. "Die Bildtitel Paul Klees: Eine Studie zur Beziehung von Bild und Sprache in der Kunst des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts." PhD diss., Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, 1968, p. 30.
Max Huggler. Paul Klee. Die Malerei als Blick in den Kosmos. Frauenfeld, 1969, p. 161.
Siegfried Salzmann and Tilman Osterwold, ed. Paul Klee und seine Malerfreunde. Die Sammlung Felix Klee. Exh. cat., Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum. Duisburg, 1971, ill. p. 6, locate it in a private collection, Norway.
Mark Lawrence Rosenthal. "Paul Klee and the Arrow." PhD diss., University of Iowa, 1979, p. 178, fig. 162, calls it "Rhein near Duisburg".
Haruo Arikawa inExhibition of Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Fuji Television Gallery. Tokyo, 1981, p. 72, no. 29, ill. p. 56 (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. 252–53, 288, 319, ill. (color and bw).
Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 7, 1934–1938. New York, 2003, p. 264, no. 7081, ill., as "Der Rhein bei Duisburg (The Rhine near Duisburg)".
Claude Cernuschi inPaul Klee. Philosophical Vision: From Nature to Art. Ed. John Sallis. Exh. cat., McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. Chestnut Hill, Mass., 2012, p. 114, fig. 15.
Katja Förster and Stefan Frey, ed. "In inniger Freundschaft": Alexej Jawlensky, Paul und Lily Klee, Marianne Werefkin. Der Briefwechsel. Zurich, 2013, p. 207 n. 4, tentatively identify this picture as one mentioned by Lily Klee as having just been painted in a February 26, 1937 letter to Felix Klee.
Galen A. Johnson. "On the Origin(s) of Truth in Art: Merleau-Ponty, Klee, and Cézanne." The Philosophical Vision of Paul Klee. Ed. John Sallis. Leiden, 2014, p. 207.
Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)Date: 1935Medium: Ink wash and graphite on paper mounted on cardboardAccession: 1984.315.55On view in:The Met Floor 5