Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door (New Version)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)

Date: 1925

Medium: Sprayed and brushed watercolor, and transferred printing ink on paper bordered with gouache and ink, mounted on cardboard

Dimensions: 24 in. × 16 5/8 in. (61 × 42.2 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987

Accession Number: 1987.455.16


In the early 1920s, Klee painted a series of ghost chambers with eerie lines of perspective that reduce everything to skeletal transparency. As Klee rarely used perspective, he applied it in these works-always interiors-solely to show its delusive effects, a theory he relayed to his students in his Bauhaus lectures on the subject in November 1921. He demonstrates that perspective can be playful in this watercolor of an orange room cluttered with black wire utensils and with a tall violet door from which seemingly radiate the black perspectival lines.