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Paul Klee and his ideas on colour

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Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee on 18 December 1879; he was a Swiss painter coming from a family made up of his father, who was a musician of German origin, and his Swiss mother, who was a singer.

In addition to painting, Paul Klee was also interested in poetry and music, but it is in painting that he stood out, becoming one of the leading exponents of twentieth-century Abstractionism.

He was always in search of perfection, dedicated to continuous introspection and committed to the care of every detail; Klee believed that the true artist reached its peak when the palette and brush managed to express moods, feelings and various sensations.

The artist claimed that he was possessed by colour, that he did not need to grasp it because they were as one and that is why he considered himself a true painter. This awareness was achieved by Paul Klee while he was travelling in Tunisia in 1914, together with his two dear friends Louis Moilliet and August Macke, where he visited Hammamet, Kairouan and Carthage. The discovery of those places, the bright and shiny tones and the chromatic variety of the places discovered in this part of Africa led the painter to discover a completely different repertoire of graphic signs.

After creating together with Franz Marc and Auguste Macke the artistic group called Der Blaue Reiter, a group destined to last very little because of the outbreak of the First World War and the catastrophic events related to the war, as well as after the loss of his friend Franz, Paul Klee paradoxically began to live one of the most fertile periods of his artistic life.

After settling in Weimar in 1920, Paul Klee began to apply himself to teaching and began to teach Theory of Form and Colour. Always curious and eager to understand and know himself and the reality that surrounded him, Klee developed a style which he transmitted on every canvas. For the artist, the human figure played a very important role, but it was always filtered through his inner world; as he said: “Art does not concentrate on reproducing what is visible but manages to make visible what commonly is not seen”.

In 1930, after teaching at the Bauhaus school, the painter began teaching at the Dusseldorf Academy, but his experience in this academy was destined to last only for a short time, as the Nazis consider his art degenerate and many of the artist's works were confiscated.

Later, suffering from scleroderma, a disease that gave him no respite and was getting worse, Paul Klee began to change his painting style, focusing on darker brushstrokes and backgrounds that gradually became monochrome.

He was a lover of colours, of vivid nuances, of the sensations he felt everywhere and he was always curious, Paul Klee has always travelled and told his experiences to Lily Stumpf, his secret fiancée whom he had married in 1906 and through his writings, notes and stories, as well as through his works, this artist has strongly influenced the art of the twentieth century.

Article by: Aurora Caraman.

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