Paul Klee (1879 - 1940)

Lot 420: Paul Klee (1879-1940)


June 23, 2005
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item

Description: Künstliche Frucht (recto); Fruchtscheibe (verso)
indistinctly signed 'Klee' (upper right); dated, numbered and inscribed '1935 K14 IV Künstliche Frucht' (on the artist's mount)
watercolour and pencil on gessoed paper (recto); watercolour on paper (verso)
image: 9 1/2 x 12 1/4 in. (24.1 x 31.1 cm.)
mount: 12 3/4 x 17 3/8 in. (32.2 x 44 cm.)
Executed in 1935
Artist or Maker: Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Exhibited: Basel, Kunsthalle, Paul Klee, October - November 1935, no. 172.
Brussels, Galerie Dietrich, Paul Klee, December 1938, no. 21.
Literature: R. Verdi, Klee and Nature, London, 1984, p. 247, note 1.
The Paul Klee Foundation (ed.), Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, vol. VII, 1934-1938, Bern, 2003, no. 6796 (illustrated p. 162).
Provenance: Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler, Paris, by 1941.
Roger Dutilleul, Paris.
Acquired from the above, and thence by descent to the present owner.

Künstliche Frucht belonged to the great collector Roger Dutilleul (1873-1956), who, along with Gertrude Stein and Wilhelm Uhde, was one of the leading patrons of avant-garde art in Paris.

Dutilleul began amassing his renowned collection of modern paintings in 1907. He purchased in that year a group of important canvases by the Fauves - Derain, Vlaminck, Friesz, and Van Dongen - from the young Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, whose pioneering gallery in Paris had opened only months before. Shortly thereafter, under the continued guidance of Kahnweiler, Dutilleul turned his attention to Cubism, adding to his collection masterpieces by Picasso, Braque, Klee and Léger. It is probable that Dutilleul bought Künstliche Frucht at Kahnweiler's in 1942.

Many decades later, both Dutilleul and Kahnweiler would recall the significance of their relationship during these early years. Dutilleul recalled how, 'Sensitive and intelligent, [Kahnweiler] talked with me at length and encouraged my taste. It was he who directed me toward Picasso. In truth, I became his disciple. And since the artists often came to his gallery between 4:00 and 7:00, I met them one by one and formed friendships with them which have lasted to this day' ('La parole est aux collectionneurs,' Art présent, special issue, 1948, p. 22). Kahnweiler commented, 'A gallery, the artists, and the owner could survive with very few collectors, three or four, but only, it is true, if they were loyal friends. Roger Dutilleul was, from the very beginning, one of these impassioned amateurs' ('Du temps que les cubistes étaient jeunes,' L'Oeil, January 1955, p. 29).

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