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Est: €200,000 EUR - €300,000 EURSold:
Sotheby'sJune 20, 2005London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


Executed in 1919.

signed Klee (lower centre); titled, dated 1919 and numbered 197 on the artist's mount

gouache, watercolour and pen and ink on paper laid down on the artist's original mount


Galerie Neue Kunst (Hans Goltz), Munich (1920)
Dr Heinrich Stinnes, Cologne (until 1932)
Estate of the above (1932-38)
Sale: Gutekunst & Klipstein, Bern, 20th-22nd June 1938, lot 521
Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York (acquired in 1938)
Eveline M. Burns, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (sale: Sotheby's, New York, 14th May 1986, lot 144)
Berggruen & Cie., Paris (1986-90)
Yuji Okusu, Tokyo (1990-98)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Twenty Works by Paul Klee, 17th November 1998, lot 332
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Munich, Galerie Neue Kunst (Hans Goltz), Paul Klee, 1920, no. 227
New York, Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), Paul Klee, 1938, no. 2
Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, International Watercolor Exhibition, 1939, no. 140
Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Collection Berggruen, 1988, no. 39
Tübingen, Kunsthalle & London, Tate Gallery, Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1989, no. 21, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Sabine Rewald, Paul Klee, die Sammlung Berggruen, New York, 1988, illustrated p. 95
Wolfgang Kersten & Osamu Okuda, Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung (exhibition catalogue), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf & Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, 1995, p. 74
Paul Klee Stiftung (ed.), Paul Klee Catalogue Raisonné 1919-1922, New York, 1999, vol. III, no. 2261, illustrated p. 125


Executed in 1919, Dächerblume combines two major themes that preoccupied Klee at this time: architecture and gardens. The use of bright colours harmoniously juxtaposed in flat, geometric planes reflects the block-like squares with which he had previously depicted the North African architecture, while at the same time heralding a new tendency towards abstraction. This increasing interest in abstraction is visible in the brown and black triangular patches of colour which, superimposed over the architectural elements, draw the viewer's eye back to the surface, emphasising the flatness of the medium in a manner resembling collage.

The composition of the present work is built of geometric forms, mostly rectangles and triangles painted in bright colours, some of them displaying a pattern reminiscent of brick layers. These references to architecture are set in contrast with flower-life forms underlining the joyous, playful tone of the work. Klee, who at the invitation of the architect Walter Gropius was to join the Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1921, did not, however, approach architecture in a rigidly constructivist, utilitarian manner close to other Bauhaus members. Retaining the poetic, naïve manner of his earlier work, Klee created a utopian, fantastic architecture in response to the destruction caused by World War One. During this phase of so-called Architekturphantasie, he executed a number of oils and watercolours in which he constructed a new, fantastic world, of which Dächerblume is a fine example.


sheet size: 24.4 by 15.8cm., 9 5/8 by 6 1/4 in.<br><br>mount size: 31 by 21.5cm., 12 1/4 by 8 1/2 in.

Artist or Maker

Auction Details

Impressionist & Modern Part 1

June 20, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

34-35 New Bond Street, London, LDN, W1A 2AA, UK