In the spring of 1919, Klee rented a large studio in the Schloss Suresnes, a neglected eighteenth-century palace in Schwabing, Munich's artists' quarter. According to Klee's son Felix, Suresnes, its park, and the nearby Englischer Garten served as inspiration for this watercolor. It depicts Ionic columns, a large chestnut leaf, a thin black cross, a small red pavilion, and a boat on the River Isar, which flows through Munich.
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Title:Black Columns in a Landscape
Artist:Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Medium:Watercolor and ink on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:9 1/2 × 12 3/8 in. (24.1 × 31.4 cm)
Credit Line:The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1919 144
[Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Munich]; Curt and Erna Burgauer, Küsnacht, Zürich (by 1954–at least 1956); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1963–87; his gift to MMA)
Hannover. Kestner-Gesellschaft. "XXIX. Sonder-ausstellung. Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger: Gemälde, Graphik," November 30, 1919–January 1, 1920, no. 73 (as 1919, 144).
Munich. Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz. "Paul Klee," May–June 1920, no. 221 (as 1919/144) [catalogue published in "Der Ararat" 2, May–June 1920, p. 23].
Berlin. Galerie Der Sturm. "Paul Klee. Hans Mattis Teutsch. Gesamtschau," July–August 1921, no. 31.
Kunstmuseum Winterthur. "Paul Klee," September 14–November 2, 1952, no. 24 (as "Säulengarten," lent by a private collection, Zürich).
Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich. "Der Sturm," April 1–30, 1955, unnumbered cat. (p. 21; as "Säulengarten," lent by Curt Burgauer, Zürich).
Kunstmuseum Bern. "Paul Klee," August 11–November 4, 1956, no. 422 (lent by a private collection, Zürich).
Geneva. Galerie Georges Moos. "Paul Klee," July–August 1963, no. 4.
Nationalgalerie Berlin. Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz. "Hommage à Schönberg. Der Blaue Reiter und das Musikalische in der Malerei der Zeit," September 11–November 4, 1974, no. 50 (lent by the Berggruen Collection, Paris).
Munich. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. "Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1883–1922," December 12, 1979–March 2, 1980, no. 388 (lent by a private collection, Switzerland).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selection Two: Twentieth-Century Art," June 4–September 2, 1985, 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. 93).
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. 91).
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. 91).
Munich. Lenbachhaus. "Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919," November 10, 1993–January 9, 1994, no. 11.
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 Landscapes," November 20, 1997–February 8, 1998, 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. 1.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Cities," June 22–September 5, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Best," May 24–September 22, 2002, no catalogue.
Rome. Fondazione Memmo. "Paul Klee: La collezione Berggruen," October 11, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 11.
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.
Léopold Zahn. Paul Klee. Leben/ Werk/ Geist. Potsdam, 1920, ill. p. 60, as "Säulengarten," 1918.
Carola Giedion-Welcker. Paul Klee. Stuttgart, 1954, p. 29, pl. 58, calls it "Säulengarten" and locates it in the Burgauer collection, Zurich.
Felix Klee. Paul Klee: 12 aquarelles. Paris, 1964, unpaginated, colorpl. 2, comments that this work was inspired by the eighteenth-century château, Suresnes and its surrounding gardens in Munich where Klee rented a studio.
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. 92–93, 274, 317, ill. (color and bw).
John Russell. "Playful Images Rich in Riddles by Paul Klee at the Met." New York Times (May 6, 1988), p. C30.
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. 107, no. 2207, ill., as "Landschaft m. d. schwarzen Säulen (Landscape with Black Columns)".
Marcella Sirhandi. "Mohan Samant (1924–2004). Part I. Biography. Part II: Styles and Techniques, Themes and Subjects." Mohan Samant: Paintings. Ahmedabad, 2013, p. 198, fig. 33 (color).
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