“A dot is a line that went for a walk” says Paul Klee, the prolific Swiss-German artist who is best known for his art work heavily influenced by cubism, expressionism and surrealism. He was born on the 18th of December, 1879 in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland. To learn more about Germany’s pride and joy, here are 10 awesome facts coming your way!
Fact 1: Paul Klee was born into a whimsical, art loving family. His father’s love for music inspired him to play the violin. His father was German and taught as a music teacher while his mother was a Swiss singer. He played the instrument exceptionally well, but when was introduced to painting could not decide which he wanted to pursue more. In the end, he went with his gut and traded in the violin for a paint brush, although music remained in his heart and inspired him throughout his life.
Fact 2: He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich back in 1898, and was able to visit Italy, Rome, Florence, as well as Naples. His love for art led him to many extraordinary places, including Paris in 1912 when he and his good friend Wassily Kandinsky sought to learn Cubism and was drawn by Robert Delaunay’s bold use of color.
Fact 3: Paul Klee’s style is the product of the artistic movements Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. His artistic breakthrough finally came in 1914, after a trip he made to Tunisia. Drawing inspiration from the light in Tunis, Paul Klee began to immerse himself into abstract art. After returning to Munich, he created his first pure abstract piece entitled In the Style of Kairouan. It was composed of colored rectangles and circles.
Fact 4:By 1933 he had already produced over 500 pieces of artwork! By the time it was 1939 it had become 1,200! In the span of his entire life Paul Klee created over 9,000 pieces of art.
Fact 5: He met his wife Lily Stumpf back in 1906. She was a pianist in Munich and bore him one child, a son named Felix.
Fact 6: Paul Klee was part of World War I! Well, he witnessed it for the most part. He never set foot on the front line, but it was during this time that the world took notice of his talent. His career as a painter grew and his paintings were adored and were gaining popularity fairly quick. His art style evolved tremendously during World War I, especially after the death of dear friends Auguste Macke and Franz Marc. He created several pen-and-ink lithographs to grieve. Death for the Idea was also a product of his grieving process.
Fact 7: The famous painter started to teach at Dusseldorf Academy in 1931. After two years, he was fired under Nazi rule. Paul Klee and his family had to moved to Switzerland during the late 1933. It was during this tumultuous period that Paul Klee had reached the height of his creative output and ultimately his career. His painting entitled Ad Parnassum is widely considered to be his masterpiece.
Fact 8: In 1917, art critics had began classifying Paul Klee as one of the best young German artists of all time. He was granted a three-year contract with dealer Hans Goltz resulting in exposure and commercial success for the artist and his craft.
Fact 9: It was during the year 1905 that Klee he had developed his signature techniques, including the technique of drawing using a needle on a blackened pane of glass. He completed a set of etchings called Inventions that would be the first of his exhibited works.
Fact 10: During the later years of his life Klee contracted the wasting disease scleroderma. The last years of his career was spent creating ghastly images of death with huge, pained eyes. He passed away on the 29th of June, 1940, in Schlosshaldenfriedhof, Switzerland.