The German Painter Paul Klee (1879–1940) has become one of today's most popular artists. Ninety works by Klee—including drawings, watercolors, and oils, either serious, comical, capricious, or dramatic—have recently been given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art by one of the postwar era's leading art dealers and collectors, Heinz Berggruen, and are now published together in this volume for the first time.
The works in the distinguished Berggruen Klee Collection, now a permanent part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's holdings, span the career of the artist from his student days in Bern in the 1890s to his death in Muralto-Locarno in 1940. All aspects of Klee both as a draftsman and as a painter are illustrated in these ninety works. Paul Klee is not only one of today's most popular artists, but he is also one of the most written about. In an illuminating addition to the vast literature on Klee, Sabine Rewald opens this study with a candid interview with the artist's only son, Felix, which took place in Bern in February 1986. Accompanied by documentary and informal photographs of the Klee family, it gives pointed and witty insights into the artist's private life. It also offers a behind-the-scenes view of the Bauhaus, where Paul Klee taught and where Felix Klee was a student.
Most of the ninety works in The Berggruen Klee Collection are reproduced in full-page color plates, and each one is accompanied by an extensive entry. These entries incorporate biographical information and quotations from Klee's letters, the latter as yet unpublished in English. The book includes an extensive chronology and a bibliography.