Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Oriental Pleasure Garden

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1925
Medium:
Oil on cardboard
Dimensions:
16 1/4 in. × 20 1/2 in. × 1 in. (41.3 × 52.1 × 2.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.41
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 5
Rather than suggesting a garden in bloom, Klee’s brushwork in Oriental Pleasure Garden illuminates a dynamic scene of sparkling fireworks hovering above a city. Klee created this painting in response to a visit to Tunisia in 1914, which awakened his sense of color and planted him firmly on the path toward abstraction. It is still possible to identify the subject matter amid the shapes and color sequences: the few black lines indicate Islamic architecture, and Klee’s innumerable short, feathery dabs of color simulate a shimmering atmosphere.
Inscription: Signed, dated and numbered (lower right): Klee/ 1925 d 1
Heinrich and Antonie Kirchhoff, Wiesbaden (probably 1926–his d. 1934); Antonie Kirchhoff, Wiesbaden (1934–at least 1937; on consignment to Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin, July 31, 1936; returned by Möller to Kirchhoff, July 1, 1937); Theodor and Woty Werner, Berlin and Munich (in 1953); [Marlborough Fine Art Limited, London, until 1959; sold in 1959 to Janis]; [Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1959; sold to Berggruen]; [Galerie Berggruen, Paris, from 1959]; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Bensinger, Chicago (by 1962–at least 1965); [Stephen Hahn, New York, from 1973]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1974–84; his gift to MMA)

Brunswick. Schlossmuseum. "Paul-Klee-Ausstellung," January 10–February 14, 1926, no. 14 (as for sale, Mk. 1500).

Berlin. Galerie Goldschmidt & Wallerstein. "Paul Klee, Gemälde und Aquarelle; G. H. Wolf, Plastiken," February 28–April 1926, no catalogue.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Ausstellung," April 11–May 5,1926, no. 21 (as for sale, SFr 1900).

Wiesbaden. Neues Museum and Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden. "August-Ausstellung 1926," August 1926, no. 12.

Oldenburg. Elisabethstrasse 2. "Vereinigung für junge Kunst," October 6–26, 1926, no catalogue.

Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden. "30 deutsche Künstler aus unserer Zeit," April 6–early June 1929, no. 16 (lent by the Kirchhoff collection).

New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin). "Paul Klee," November 1–26, 1938, no. 13.

Hannover. Kestnergesellschaft. "Paul Klee," May 20–June 22, 1952, no. 55 (lent by a private collection, Berlin).

Kunstmuseum Luzern. "Deutsche Kunst. Meisterwerke des 20.Jahrhunderts," July 4–October 2, 1953, no. 276 (lent by Th. Werner, Berlin).

London. Marlborough Fine Art Ltd. "XIX and XX Century European Masters: Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture," summer 1959, no. 36 (as "Paradis Garten").

Arts Club of Chicago. "Paul Klee. Works from Chicago Collections," January 16–February 20, 1962, no. 20 (as "Oriental Gardens," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Bensinger).

Saint-Paul. Fondation Maeght. "Paul Klee," July 9–September 30, 1977, no. 69 (as "Jardin d'agrément oriental," lent by a private collection, Zurich).

London. Hayward Gallery. "Dada and Surrealism Reviewed," January 11–March 27, 1978, no. 9.29 (as "Jardin d'agrément oriental," 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.

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 40; as "Oriental garden").

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Paul Klee," February 12–May 5, 1987, unnumbered cat. (p. 210; as "Oriental Garden").

Cleveland Museum of Art. "Paul Klee," June 24–August 16, 1987, unnumbered cat.

Kunstmuseum Bern. "Paul Klee: Leben und Werk," September 25, 1987–January 3, 1988, no. 158.

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. 205).

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. 217).

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. 217).

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. 50.

Kunsthalle Mannheim. "Paul Klee. Konstruktion—Intuition," December 9, 1990–March 3, 1991, unnumbered cat. (p. 122).

Nagoya. Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Paul Klee Retrospective," April 2–May 23, 1993, no. 142.

Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Paul Klee Retrospective," June 1–July 25, 1993, no. 142.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Paul Klee Retrospective," July 31–September 21, 1993, no. 142.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," December 6, 1996–April 13, 1997, 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. 32.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Paintings," September 14, 1999–March 12, 2000, no catalogue [on view until October 12, 1999].

Cologne. Museum Ludwig. "Kunstwelten im Dialog: von Gauguin zur globalen Gegenwart," November 5, 1999–March 19, 2000, no. 220.

Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura. "Paul Klee and His Travels," February 9–March 31, 2002, no. 145.

Morioka. Iwate Museum of Art. "Paul Klee and His Travels," April 13–June 9, 2002, no. 145.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cityscapes by Klee and Feininger," September 25, 2002–January 26, 2003, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee the Voyager," February 4–May 4, 2003, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: The Late Years," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.

New York. Neue Galerie. "Klee and America," March 10–May 22, 2006, unnumbered cat. (pl. 31).

Washington. Phillips Collection. "Klee and America," June 16–September 10, 2006, unnumbered cat.

Houston. Menil Collection. "Klee and America," October 6, 2006–January 14, 2007, unnumbered cat.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Das Universum Klee / The Klee Universe," October 31, 2008–February 8, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 212).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," October 18, 2012–March 31, 2013, no catalogue.

Bern. Zentrum Paul Klee. "Paul Klee, August Macke, Louis Moilliet: The Journey to Tunisia," March 14–June 22, 2014, no. 4.

Daniel Abadie. Paul Klee. [Paris], 1977, p. 171, ill. p. 88 (color), calls it "Jardin d'agrément oriental" and lists it in a private collection, Zurich.

Jean Duvignaud. Klee en Tunisie. Lausanne, 1980, ill. p. [14].

Kay Vernon in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 40, ill. (color), notes that this picture is informed by Klee's memory of his 1914 trip to Tunisia.

Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 123, colorpl. 101, as "Oriental Garden".

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. 204–7, 284, 318, ill. (color, overall and detail, bw), and fig. 50 (installation photo), notes that it appears in an earlier version in a 1924 photograph of Klee's studio.

Sabine Rewald in Klee aus New York: Hauptwerke der Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Berlin, 1998, pp. 38, 120, 139, no. 32, fig. 38, ill. pp. 121 (color), 139.

Marc Scheps in Kunstwelten im Dialog: von Gauguin zur globalen Gegenwart. Ed. Marc Scheps, Yilmaz Dziewior, and Barbara M. Thiemann. Exh. cat., Museum Ludwig. Cologne, 1999, pp. 85, 532, no. 220.

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 4, 1923–1926. New York, 2000, p. 353, no. 3812, ill.

Christine Hopfengart. "Klee an den deutschen 'Museen der Gegenwart', 1916–1933." Paul Klee: Kunst und Karriere. Beiträge des Internationalen Symposiums in Bern. Ed. Oskar Bätschmann and Josef Helfenstein. Bern, 2000, p. 74 n. 49.

David Carrier. "Klee and America." ArtUS no. 16 (January/February 2007), p. 58.

Anke Daemgen in The Klee Universe. Ed. Dieter Scholz and Christina Thomson. Exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Ostfildern, 2008, pp. 207, 358, ill. p. 212 (color).



Related Objects

The Bauhaus Portfolio: New European Graphics III

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph (portfolio cover) Accession: 1984.1203.191 On view in:Not on view

Bird Comedy (Vogelkomödie)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1918 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 53.646.2(12) On view in:Not on view

The Saint of the Inner Light (Die Helige vom inner Licht)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph with brown background Accession: 1984.1203.190(5) On view in:Not on view

Hoffmannesque Scene (Hofmanneske Szene)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1921 Medium: Lithograph in gold, maroon, brown and black Accession: 1984.1203.190(6) On view in:Not on view

Ass (Esel)

Artist: Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno) Date: 1925 Medium: Lithograph Accession: 64.554.2(5) On view in:Not on view