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Paul Klee

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Paul Klee was born near Berne in Switzerland but because his father was German, he had German nationality. In 1898 he studied under Knirr in Munich and in 1900 he moved to Franz Stuck's class at the Akademie. After seven months in Italy, he returned to Berne where he lived until 1906. He moved to Munich in 1906 where the Blaue Reiter exhibition of 1911-12 introduced him to many of the leading figures in contemporary art, and led to a visit to Paris where he was decisively influenced by Cubist paintings. A visit to Tunis in 1914 in the company of August Macke was equally important in turning him first to watercolor and then to painting. He was in the German army from 1916 to the end of the War.

In late 1920 he was appointed to the staff of the Bauhaus, where he remained for eleven years. In 1931 he took another appintment at the Akademie in Dusseldorf, but after his dismissal by the Nazis in 1933 retired to Berne, where he applied for Swiss citizenship and remained for the rest of his life.

Klee was to remain primarily a graphic artist until 1914. His 109 catalogued prints fall into four general groups: the early Berne etchings of 1903-5; a group of linear landscapes in an "impressionist" manner of 1911-12; the cubist etchings of 1913 and the Cubist-derived works of the years before the War; and finally he made prints in Munch after the end of the War and at the Bauhaus, firstly a number of lithographs in 1921-25 and then some etchings in 1928-32." (Excerpt from The Print in Germany. By Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths)