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Artist:Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Medium:Gouache and watercolor on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:9 1/4 × 11 1/2 in. (23.5 × 29.2 cm)
Credit Line:The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Inscription: Signed (upper left): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1915 175
the artist (1915–17; sold in 1917, through the Kunstsalon Schames, Frankfurt, to Falk); Sally Falk, Mannheim (1917–19; on deposit in May 1918 at the Kunsthalle Mannheim; sold on January 6, 1919 to Pfrunder); Paul Rudolf Pfrunder, Zurich (1919; sold in October 1919 to Neumann); [J. B. Neumann, Berlin, from 1919]; private collection, Wuppertal (in 1952); Siegfried Adler, Montagnola and Baden Baden (1968/69–76; sold in 1976 to Berggruen); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1976–84; his gift to MMA)
Kunsthaus Zürich. "Ausstellung [Neue Münchener Secession]," January 9–February 6, 1916, no. 36 (as "Abstraktes Aquarell," for sale, SFr 300).
Kunsthalle Basel. "Februar-Ausstellung [Neue Münchener Secession]," February 12–March 5, 1916, no. 49 (as "Abstraktes Aquarell," for sale, SFr 300).
Frankfurt. Kunstsalon Ludwig Schames. "Neue Münchener Secession," April 1916, no. 48 (as "Abstraktes Aquarell").
Munich. Münchener Neue Secession. "II. Ausstellung," June 1–September 30, 1916, no. 103 (as "Abstraktes Aquarell," for sale).
Frankfurt. Kunstsalon Ludwig Schames. "Münchener Neue Secession," March 1917, no. 50 (as "Abstracktes [sic] Aquarell").
Hannover. Kestnergesellschaft. "Paul Klee," May 20–June 22, 1952, no. 16 (as "Ohne Titel," lent by a private collection, Wuppertal).
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. 76).
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. 73).
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. 73).
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. 6.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee in Munich," January 12–July 21, 1996, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.
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.
O[tto]. K. Werckmeister inPaul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1883–1922. Ed. Armin Zweite. Exh. cat., Stadtische Galerie und Lenbach Galerie, Munich. Munich, 1979, p. 185, remarks that the title of this work was changed from "Abstractes [sic] Aquarell" to "Schweres Pathos" when the Neue Münchener Secession travelled to Frankfurt in 1917; notes that it was sold in Frankfurt.
O[tto]. K[arl]. Werckmeister. Versuche über Paul Klee. Frankfurt, 1981, p. 36.
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. 76–77, 273, 317, ill. (color and bw).
O[tto]. K. Werckmeister. The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914–1920. Chicago, 1989, pp. 75–76, 273 nn. 52–54, calls it "Grave Pathos"; comments that since three works sold after their titles were changed, including this one, "by late 1916 Klee would have been able to discern that his hermetic abstraction of 1915 could be made palatable to the public if he imbued it, by means of new titles, with a suggestive literary significance"; notes that since the new title is written in pencil in Klee's oeuvre catalogue, it is not possible to determine exactly when the title was changed.
Phyllis Williams Lehmann. "A Roman Source for Klee's 'Athlete's Head'." Art Bulletin 72 (December 1990), p. 646 n. 39.
Roland Dorn inStiftung und Sammlung Sally Falk. Ed. Roland Dorn, Karoline Hille, and Jochen Kronjäger. Mannheim, 1994, pp. 164, 195–96, no. 127, calls it "No: 175"; notes that Falk purchased this work from Exh. Frankfurt 1917 and deposited it at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in May 1918; states that it was sold by Pfrunder to Neumann in October 1919, tentatively identifying it on a list of works sent to Neumann as no. 27 "Farbenphantasie".
Jenny Anger. "Modernism and the Gendering of Paul Klee." PhD diss., Brown University, 1997, vol. 1, pp. 74–75, 82; vol. 2, fig. 50 (color).
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. 299, no. 1509, ill., as "Schweres Pathos (Heavy Pathos)".
Jenny Anger. Paul Klee and the Decorative in Modern Art. Cambridge, England, 2004, pp. 83–84, 214, 265 nn. 185, 186, fig. 29, calls it "Heavy Pathos".
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