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Paul Klee

Portrait of a Violet-Eyed Woman

watercolour and pencil on paper on paper on cardboard
1921
32,7 x 24,8 cm / 12 7/8 x 9 3/4 in.
signed upper right dated, numbered '65' and titled on the original cardboard

The "Portrait of a Violet-Eyed Woman" is an outstanding example of the numerous opera-like figures, which Klee painted in the early 1920s at the Weimar Bauhaus. The head seems to glow from inside and is framed by the brown paper as if appearing on a raree show. The hair also has a stage look – in the very sense of the word. For the hair, gathered to the sides above the forehead, falls at the sides like a curtain. The seam ends in the volute so typical for Klee. He liked to use it as a variation of the violin clef and thus as a hint at a musical context. As almost always with Klee, in the present work irony is involved. Irony regarding the gentle, fusty type of woman, but perhaps also regarding a type of theatre which, in the light of the modern Bauhaus culture did not seem up to date anymore. He wrote to his wife in that sense about a performance of Puccini’s "La Bohème": "The opera by Puccinis is quite good, but very pathetic, already pleasantly outdated." Provenance available

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