Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Firmament Above the Temple

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1922
Medium:
Watercolor, pen and ink, and graphite on paper, bordered with gouache and ink, mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
8 1/4 × 14 1/4 in. (21 × 36.2 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.455.11
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (upper right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1922/58; (lower right): Gestirne über dem Tempel.
Alfred Rose, Hannover; Kurt Wilhelm, Brunswick, Dortmund, Jerusalem, and Stockholm (1927–d. 1965); his widow, Mrs. Kurt Wilhelm, Stockholm (1965–79; sale, Sotheby's, London, December 5, 1979, no. 155); [Galerie Bel'Art, Stockholm, 1979–80]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1980–87; his gift to MMA)

Cologne. Kunsthalle. "Paul Klee. Das Werk der Jahre 1919–1933. Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik," April 11–June 4, 1979, no. 65 (lent by the Wilhelm family, Stockholm).

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. 43).

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

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. 159).

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. 161).

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. 161).

Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung," January 21–April 17, 1995, no. 136.

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. "Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung," April 29–July 23, 1995, no. 136.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee at the Bauhaus," April 18–August 17, 1997, 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. 21.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus (1921–1931)," November 19, 2004–April 3, 2005, no catalogue.

Bauhaus-Museum Weimar. "Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar," April 1–July 5, 2009, no. 5.049.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: Path to Abstraction," April 9–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. "Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee," April 30–August 3, 2014, unnumbered cat. (p. 78).

Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee," September 6, 2014–January 4, 2015, unnumbered cat.

Eva-Maria Triska in Paul Klee. Das Werk der Jahre 1919–1933: Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Köln. Cologne, 1979, pp. 63, 118, no. 65, ill. p. 214 (color).

Eva-Maria Triska. "Die Quadratbilder Paul Klees—ein Beitrag zur Analyse formaler Ausdrucksmittel in seinem Werk und seiner Theorie. Mit einem Exkurs zur Ableitung von Klees Farbenlehre." PhD diss., Universität Wien, 1980, p. 186 n. 24.

Kay Vernon in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 41, ill. p. 43 (color), comments that works such as this one can be called "symbolic landscapes".

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. 158–60, 163, 280, 318, ill. (color and bw), notes that Klee created this color-gradation picture by layering secondary colors of green and orange, which he called a "false color pair".

Jane Norrie. "Paul Klee." Arts Review 41 (June 2, 1989), p. 439.

Wolfgang Kersten and Osamu Okuda. Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf, 1995, pp. 178–79, 378, 384, no. 136, ill. pp. 256 (color), 347, illustrate this work on its side next to "Tower in Orange and Green" (MMA 1984.315.31), proposing that the two watercolors originally formed one composition.

Dörte Zbikowski in Paul Klee: Reisen in den Süden. "Reisefieber praecisiert". Ed. Uta Gerlach-Laxner and Ellen Schwinzer. Exh. cat., Gustav-Lübcke Museum, Hamm. Ostfildern, 1997, p. 88, fig. 5.

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, pp. 380, 409, no. 2882, ill., as "Gestirne über dem Tempel (Stars over the Temple)".

Stephan Dahme in Paul Klee. Die Reise nach Ägypten 1928/29. Exh. cat., Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Dresden, 2014, p. 78, ill. (color).

Osamu Okuda in Wolfgang Kersten, Osamu Okuda, and Marie Kakinuma. Paul Klee—Sonderklasse, unverkäuflich. Exh. cat., Zentrum Paul Klee. Cologne, 2015, p. 256, fig. 44 (color, reconstructed composition with MMA 1984.315.31).



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