Idol for House Cats

Idol for House Cats
Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940)
Watercolor, oil transfer drawing and lace collage on chalk-primed muslin, mounted on thin cardboard 
comp: 13-7/8 x 18-1/4 in. (35.2 x 46.4 cm); mount: 15-3/8 x 19-3/4 in. (39.1 x 50.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View

Klee had a great fondness for cats. He had many cats for pets, and made them subjects in his pictures. Klee's wit is evident in both the subject and the technique. The idol is an image of totemic feline detachment. Its full face with large staring eyes is a perfect sacred icon for pampered house cats. Yet this aloofness is mitigated by the decorative black lace mantilla and the pursed, prim, heart-shaped mouth.


The artist;
(on consignment?) at [Galerie Neue Kunst Fides, Dresden];
[Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Berlin];
returned to artist(?), who consigned in June 1928 to;
Galka Scheyer, who purchased in June 1931;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975

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