Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Man Under the Pear Tree

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1921
Medium:
Watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with metallic foil, mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
17 3/4 × 13 3/4 in. (45.1 × 34.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.455.9
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower center): 1921/19 Der Man unter dem Birnbaum
the artist (1921–d. 1940); his widow, Lily Klee, Bern (1940–46); Paul Klee Society, later Paul Klee Foundation, Bern (1946–52); Rolf and Catherine E. Bürgi, Bern and Belp (1952–probably at least 1956); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1957–87; his gift to MMA)

Munich. Glaspalast. "Münchener Neue-Secession. VII.Ausstellung," August–September 1921, no. 93 (as for sale).

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

National Gallery, London. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," December 22, 1945–February 17, 1946, no. 49 (as "The Man under the Pear-tree," lent by Frau Professor Klee, Bern).

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," May 11–June 1, 1946, no. 14 (as "The Man under the Pear-tree," lent by Frau Professor Klee).

Sheffield. Graves Art Gallery. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," June 8–29, 1946, no. 14.

Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley Public Museum and Art Gallery. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," July 6–27, 1946, no. 14.

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Industrial Museum. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," August 3–24, 1946, no. 14.

Liverpool. Bluecoat Chambers. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," August 31–September 21, 1946, no. 14.

Manchester City Art Gallery. "Paul Klee 1879–1940," September 28–October 19, 1946, no. 14.

Kunstmuseum Bern. "Paul Klee," August 11–November 4, 1956, no. 446 (lent by a private collection).

Paris. Berggruen et Cie. "Paul Klee. Les années 20," May–July 1971, no. 12.

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. 134).

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. 133).

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. 133).

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. 24.

Berlin. Martin-Gropius-Bau. "The Age of Modernism: Art in the 20th Century," May 7–July 27, 1997, no. 368.

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

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Sammlung Berggruen. "Klee aus New York: Hauptwerke der Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 4–October 18, 1998, no. 12.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Figures," October 5, 2001–March 10, 2002, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Creatures," December 12, 2003–March 14, 2004, no catalogue.

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

Santander. Fundación Marcelino Botín. "Paul Klee: Colección Berggruen," July 7–September 24, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 83).

Rome. Fondazione Memmo. "Paul Klee: La collezione Berggruen," October 11, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 21.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Das Universum Klee / The Klee Universe," October 31, 2008–February 8, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 123; as "Der Mann unter dem Birnbaum [The Man Beneath the Pear Tree]").

Felix Klee. Paul Klee: 12 aquarelles. Paris, 1964, unpaginated, colorpl. 6.

Jean-Louis Ferrier. Paul Klee: Les années 20. Paris, 1971, ill. p. 46 and n. p. (color and bw).

Jürgen Glaesemer. Paul Klee. Handzeichnungen. Vol. 1, Kindheit bis 1920. Bern, 1973, p. 282, ill. p. 259.

Stefan Frey and Wolfgang Kersten in Alfred Flechtheim: Sammler. Kunsthändler. Verleger. 1937. Europa vor dem 2.Weltkrieg. Ed. Stephan von Wiese and Monika Flacke-Knoch. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf, 1987, pp. 82, 86, ill. p. 85, note that this composition was derived from a 1920 pencil drawing (Kunstmuseum Bern: Helfenstein and Rümelin 1999, no. 2534), copied again in a 1928 ink drawing dedicated to Klee's dealer, Alfred Flechtheim, for Flechtheim's 50th birthday (location unknown; Helfenstein and Rümelin 2001, no. 4586); interpret the man beneath the tree as Klee's first dealer, Hans Goltz, harvesting the fruits of success from Klee's art.

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. 134–35, 278, 317, ill. (color and bw), suggests sexual connotations in the ripe fruit that "mock the... yearnings" of the old man beneath the tree.

O[tto]. K. Werckmeister. The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914–1920. Chicago, 1989, pp. 223, 310 n. 48, relates this image to Klee's autobiographical text published for his exhibition at Hans Goltz's gallery in 1920, which included the sentence: "the great success fell into his lap like a ripe fruit'"; interprets the man beneath the tree as the artist.

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. 240, 265, no. 2610, ill., as "Der Mann unter dem Birnbaum (The Man Beneath the Pear Tree)".

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 5, 1927–1930. New York, 2001, p. 186, under no. 4586.

Dieter Scholz in The Klee Universe. Ed. Dieter Scholz and Christina Thomson. Exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Ostfildern, 2008, pp. 114, 355, ill. p. 123 (color).

Wolfgang Kersten and Marie Kakinuma 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, pp. 95–96, 98–99 n. 10, fig. 1.



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