Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Birds Swooping Down and Arrows
Artist:Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Medium:Watercolor and transferred printing ink on gesso on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:9 5/8 × 12 5/8 in. (24.4 × 32.1 cm)
Credit Line:The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Inscription: Dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1919 201; (lower right): Heinrich Campendonk in Freundschaft/ K.
Heinrich Campendonk, Seeshaupt, Krefeld, Düsseldorf, and Amsterdam (1919–d. 1957; gift of the artist in exchange for Campendonk's watercolor, "Die Barbarazeche"); his daughter, Gerda Bornefeld (1957–d. 1964); her son, Reiner Bornefeld, Bonn, Hennef, and Antibes (1964–77; sale, Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, June 2–4, 1977, no. 774, sold to Berggruen); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1977–84; his gift to MMA)
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. 94).
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. 97).
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. 97).
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. 10.
Munich. Lenbachhaus. "Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919," November 10, 1993–January 9, 1994, no. 46.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee in Munich," January 12–July 21, 1996, 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. 2.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Best," May 24–September 22, 2002, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.
Rome. Fondazione Memmo. "Paul Klee: La collezione Berggruen," October 11, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 10.
Madrid. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. "1914! La vanguardia y la Gran Guerra," October 7, 2008–January 11, 2009, no. 78.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: Path to Abstraction," April 9–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Humor and Fantasy: The Berggruen Paul Klee Collection," September 1, 2016–January 2, 2017, no catalogue.
Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 16, 2018–March 17, 2019, no catalogue.
Felix Klee. Paul Klee par lui-même et par son fils Felix Klee. Ed. Bernard Gheerbrant. Enl. ed. (1st ed., German, 1960; 2nd ed., English, 1962). Paris, 1963, p. 73 (German ed., p. 141; not in English ed.), as "Avec la flèche de l'air (Mit dem Luftpfeil)".
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. 94–97, 274, 317, ill. (color, overall and detail, bw), states that it was partly copied from a pencil drawing made while Klee was in flight school (1918; private collection, Switzerland; Helfenstein and Rümelin 2000, no. 2057), inspired by "the sight of airplanes constantly flying above him"; notes that it was dedicated to Klee's friend, Heinrich Campendonk, a fellow member of the Blue Rider group.
O[tto]. K. Werckmeister. The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914–1920. Chicago, 1989, p. 241, fig. 124, calls it "Descending Birds and Air Arrows"; discusses the arrows as "clarified wartime" memories of airplane crashes.
Robin Stemp. "Artist as Transmitter." Artist (September 1989), p. 17, ill.
Justin Hoffmann. Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919. Ed. Helmut Friedel. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 1993, pp. 184–85, no. 46, ill. (color), notes that it was a gift to Campendonk in April 1919.
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. 127, no. 2265, ill.
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. 527, under no. 2057.
Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Ostfildern, 2012, pp. 107–8, 332, ill. pp. 86 (color detail), 108 (color).
Myriam Weber in Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee. Ostfildern, 2012, p. 149.
Annegret Jürgens-Kirchhoff inPaul Klee: Mythos Fliegen. Ed. Christof Trepesch and Shahab Sangestan. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg. Berlin, 2013, p. 26, fig. 4 (color).
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.