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The Pathos of Fertility

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:
14 7/8 x 12 in. (37.8 x 30.5 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.28
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): Klee; dated and inscribed on mount: 1921/130 Das Pathos der Fruchtbarkeit

  • Provenance

    [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 to Guggenheim]; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1948–71; in November 1971 to Beyeler); [Ernst Beyeler, Basel, 1971–72]; Plouvier, Brussels (from 1972); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1974–84; his gift to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    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 Munich. "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.

  • References

    Gérard Barrière. "Paul Klee." Connaissance des arts, no. 266 (April 1974), ill. p. 109 (color).

    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).

    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, eds. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, 1919–1922. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. 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.

    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. Eds. Josef Helfenstein and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Houston, 2006, p. 262 n. 18.

  • See also
483145

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