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Maid of Saxony, 1922

Paul Klee

Swiss, 1879-1940
Oil on oil-primed muslin with metallic paper strips mounted on thin cardboard
comp: 13-5/8 x 8-1/8 in. (34.6 x 20.6 cm); mount: 15-1/8 x 9-1/4 in. (38.4 x 23.5 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
P.1953.063
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

At an early age, Paul Klee was already exceptional as both a violinist and a draftsman. These two interests—music and drawing—would inform Klee’s works throughout his influential career. His unique art was founded on the basic element of the line, which he infused with a lyrical quality from the first. In fact, he preferred a graphic medium and did not take up painting until a decade into his art-making. His fantastical images display a mixed sensibility of humor, spirituality, naiveté and overall mystery, and his portraits are no different. Maid of Saxony is made of largely unmodulated areas of color, the flattened shapes create a surprising effect, in which the artist disregards spatial recession and depth completely, creating lines that cross and overlap to describe bodies, clothes, facial features and even undergarments.

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