Paul Klee


Paul Klee Essay, Research Paper

Paul Klee

Death and Fire


Paul Klee was a Swiss-born painter born in 1879. He grew up in a musical family and played the violin. Layer, after much hesitation, he choose to study art. In 1900, he attended the Munich Academy. Klee went to Switzerland in 1933 where he came down with the crippling collagen disease scleroderma. His disease forced him to develop a simpler style of art, and eventually killed him in 1940.

Klee s late works were often reflections on death war. You see this in his 1940 work Death and Fire. He uses dark, heavy lines in this painting to represent death. He uses various types of lines, including: vertical, horizontal, and some curved lines. In his painting, Klee uses all geometric shapes and one organic shape. He has one rectangle and four circles. His organic shape is the shape of the skull in the middle of the painting. Besides Klee s use of lines in the painting, color is also very important. He uses neutral colors (black, white, and gray) to bring out the coldness, or death, in the painting. He also uses the warm colors (red, yellow, and orange) to bring out the fire and they add some excitement to the painting.

Klee emphasizes the skull in his painting by putting it in the middle of the painting. He also makes the skull stick out by using contrast. He does this by making the skull itself white with a thick, black outline to it. The whole painting has the same texture as the heavy, dark lines go throughout all of his painting.

To me, the meaning of Paul Klee s Death and Fire is about dying slowly. I believe this is because of both, the painting and the title of it. The skull in the fire, to me, represents someone dying slowly of anything (not just fire). I think that Klee made this work of art because of how he felt from his disease. His disease killed him slowly (7 years) and he made this painting the same year that he died.

Overall, I think that Klee s Death and Fire is very well done. I think that he used line and color very nicely. You are also able to tell what he was expressing in the painting. I like how he used the warm colors, but added the neutrals to balance it out. Even though only a couple of elements and principles are clearly expressed, his painting is not at all original. That is what makes me like Klee s painting.





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