Paul Klee (Münchenbuchsee 1879 - Muralto 1940)

Nacht-Eindruck einer südlichen Stadt (Night Impression of a Southern Town) Sold

Pen and black (India) ink and black and grey wash, on paper laid down onto the artist’s mount.
Signed Klee in black ink at the lower left.
Dated and numbered 1925 n.3 and titled Nacht-Eindruck einer südlichen Stadt by the artist in the lower margin.
301 x 226 mm. (11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in.) [image]
411 x 326 mm. (16 1/8 x 12 7/8 in.) [mount]


This drawing is dated early in 1925, and must reflect Paul Klee’s memories of his trip to Sicily the previous summer. Colour is extraneous in this nocturnal view of a southern town, which depicts the anonymous village in rich detail, with an arrangement of delicately washed grisaille tones applied in small, tesserae-like blocks verging on pointillism. Although drawn in the artist’s Weimar studio rather than on the spot, the use of a mosaic-like technique in this drawing could well reflect Klee’s exposure to the rich mosaics of the churches of Palermo and nearby Monreale.

The same grisaille technique is also seen in only one other major work on paper of 1925; a pen and ink wash drawing entitled 'Kind im Asterngarten' (Child in the Aster Garden), formerly in a Swiss private collection, which appeared at auction in 1990 and 1995.

This drawing was exhibited by Klee’s dealer in Munich, Hans Goltz, shortly after it was drawn in 1925, at Goltz’s gallery in Munich, the Galerie Neue Kunst. The artist had signed a three-year contract with Goltz shortly after leaving military service in 1919, an arrangement which was renewed in 1922.

Private collection, Bern, in 1948
Sale, Bern, Kornfeld und Klipstein, 9-10 June 1976, lot 506
Berggruen & Cie, Paris
Fuji Television Gallery Co. Ltd., Tokyo, in 1981
Acquavella Galleries, New York, until 1983
Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zurich
Acquired from them by a private collection, Austria, in 1983
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 24 June 2004, lot 337
Jan Krugier and Marie-Anne Poniatowski, Geneva.

Du, October 1948, illustrated p.24; Berne, Paul Klee Foundation, Paul Klee. Catalogue Raisonné, Vol.IV 1923-1926, Bern, 2000, p.300, no.3724 (1925,43); Christiane Lange and Roger Diederen, ed., Das ewige Auge – Von Rembrandt bis Picasso: Meisterwerke aus der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, exhibition catalogue, Munich, 2007, pp.342-343, no.163.


Nacht-Eindruck einer südlichen Stadt (Night Impression of a Southern Town)


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