The Tree of Houses
Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940)
Not on View

"Tree of Houses" typifies Klee's experiments with a variety of materials and techniques. In this case, he has painted over strips of gauze and paper, creating a rich, tactile surface. A fanciful apartment complex emerges out of a forest, its various levels connected by ladders. Below, a solitary figure begins his ascent.


  • Artist Name: Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940)
  • Title: The Tree of Houses
  • Date: 1918
  • Medium: Watercolor, gouache and India ink on chalk-primed gauze on wove papers, mounted on cardboard
  • Dimensions: comp: 8-5/8 x 7-1/4 in. (21.9 x 18.4 cm); mount: 9-5/8 x 7-7/8 in. (24.4 x 20.0 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
  • Accession Number: P.1953.025
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Museum

Object Information

The artist, sold 1919 to;
[Galerie Der Strum, Berlin, probably sold c. 1919 to];
[Stadtsyndicus a.D. Kauth, Berlin, sold c. 1925 to];
Galka Scheyer;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

Paul Klee, Johannes Molzahn, Kurt Schwitters

  • Der Sturm, 1919-01 to
  • Ponente, Nello, Klee, pp. 54, 61, 62
  • Paul Klee Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 2, 1913-1918,no. 1930
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum,no. 303 pp. 268-270; cover
  • Kröll, Christina, Die Bildtitel Paul Klees: Eine Studie zur Beziehung von Bild und Sprache in der Kunst des zwanzigsten Jarhrjunderts, pp. 90, 93, 172, 175, 176
  • Paul Klee, p. 7
  • Sylvie Charriere, A Fleur de Mots (third edition), p. 21
  • Rosenthal, Mark, Arts Magazine, p. 111
  • Kersten, Wolfgang, Paul Klee: "Zerstörung der Konstruction zuliebe?", pp. 44, 45-47, 55-56, 63, 96, 137, 138, 140, 154
  • Anger, Jenny, Paul Klee and The Decorative in Modern Art,fig. 41 pp. 109-110
  • Jordan, Jim M., Paul Klee and Cubism, p. 165
  • Jollos, Waldemar, Das Kunsblatt, p. 227
  • The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena,no. 258 pp. 99, 102
  • Henry, Sara Lynn, Pantheon,fig. 6 p. 151
  • Hildebrandt, Hans, Die Kunst des 19. und 12. Jarhunderts, p. 422
  • Grohmann, Will, Paul Klee, p. 200
  • Werckmeister, O. K., The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914-1920, pp. 112, 113, 115, 117, 136
  • Salz, Peter, German Expressionist Painting,fig. 136 p. 296
  • Huggler, Max, The Drawings of Paul Klee, p. 25
  • Kersten, Wolfgang and Osamu Okuda, Paul Klee: Im Zeichen der Teilung, p. 58

Additional Artwork by Artist

Absorption Paul Klee 1919
Arabian Bride Paul Klee 1924
First Drawing for "Specter of a Genius" Paul Klee 1922

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