A collection of imagery and sources designed to encourage children to explore the work of Paul Klee.
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Watercolour Paintings by Paul Klee
Take a close look at these paintings. Use the questions to talk about them as a class.
Klee was born in 1879 in Switzerland. When he was 35 he visited Tunisia in Africa, where his experience of the light and colours of the landscapes and architecture helped awaken his interest in colour.
He became less interested in painting exactly what he saw and in fact from 1915 onwards he never again worked from a model. Instead, he became interested in painting the colours around him, letting them detach themselves from the objects the colours were on. In this way his worked moved towards Abstraction.
He became interested in creating fantastical worlds, full of symbols, shapes, colour and line.
He took his inspiration from the world around him, and his imaginative response to the world, and also from poetry, music and literature.
Sometimes his work was serious and meditative, other times it was full of humour. He also loved the sounds of words and phrases and the titles of works were often very important to Klee.
Battle scene from the funny and fantastic opera “The Seafarers” (1923). Painting by Paul Klee. Original from the Kunstmuseum Basel Museum
Questions to Ask Children
Describe what you see.
What do you think is happening?
How does the title change the painting?
Why do you think Klee painted in blocks of colour?
How does the painting make you feel?