paul klee images
In this period Klee mainly worked on large-sized pictures. After the onset of illness, there were about 25 works in the 1936 catalogue, but his productivity increased in 1937 to 264 pictures, 1938 to 489, and 1939—his most productive year—to 1254. They dealt with ambivalent themes, expressing his personal fate, the political situation and his wit. Examples are the watercolor painting Musiker (musician), a stick-man face with partially serious, partially smiling mouth; and the Revolution des Viadukts (Revolution of the Viadukt), an anti-fascist art. In Viadukt (1937) the bridge arches split from the bank as they refuse to be linked to a chain and are therefore rioting.  Since 1938, Klee worked more intensively with hieroglyphic-like elements. The painting Insula dulcamara from the same year, which is one of his largest (88 cm × 176 cm (35 in × 69 in)), shows a white face in the middle of the elements, symbolizing death with its black-circled eye sockets. Bitterness and sorrow are not rare in much of his works during this time.
In 1919, Klee applied for a teaching post at the Academy of Art in Stuttgart.  This attempt failed but he had a major success in securing a three-year contract (with a minimum annual income) with dealer Hans Goltz, whose influential gallery gave Klee major exposure, and some commercial success. A retrospective of over 300 works in 1920 was also notable. 
With his parents’ reluctant permission, in 1898 he began studying art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Heinrich Knirr and Franz von Stuck. He excelled at drawing but seemed to lack any natural color sense. He later recalled, “During the third winter I even realized that I probably would never learn to paint.” During these times of youthful adventure, Klee spent much time in pubs and had affairs with lower class women and artists’ models. He had an illegitimate son in 1900 who died several weeks after birth.
Paul Klee (18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940) was born in Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was also a student of orientalism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually mastered colour theory, and wrote extensively about it; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are considered so important for modern art that they are compared to the importance that Leonardo da Vinci’s A Treatise on Painting had for Renaissance. He and his colleague, the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the German Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture. His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality.
Paul Klee: The Eye (Das Auge), 1938, private collection in Switzerland, depositary at the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern.
Paul Klee passed away on 29 June 1940 during a stay at a sanatorium in Locarno. He had spent over half his life in Switzerland – a total of 33 years. Yet, he had been born a foreigner in Switzerland and died a foreigner, despite several attempts to obtain Swiss citizenship. Even the day before he died, Klee again made one final attempt, dictating from his bedside a letter to be sent to the naturalisation authorities in Bern. Just a few days later he probably would have received the long-awaited document.
Around 1897, Klee started his diary, which he kept until 1918, and which has provided scholars with valuable insight into his life and thinking. During his school years, he avidly drew in his school books, in particular drawing caricatures, and already demonstrating skill with line and volume. He barely passed his final exams at the “Gymnasium” of Bern, where he qualified in the Humanities. With his characteristic dry wit, he wrote, “After all, it’s rather difficult to achieve the exact minimum, and it involves risks.” On his own time, in addition to his deep interests in music and art, Klee was a great reader of literature, and later a writer on art theory and aesthetics.
In his early years, following his parents’ wishes, Klee focused on becoming a musician; but he decided on the visual arts during his teen years, partly out of rebellion and partly because of a belief that modern music lacked meaning for him. He stated, “I didn’t find the idea of going in for music creatively particularly attractive in view of the decline in the history of musical achievement.” As a musician, he played and felt emotionally bound to traditional works of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but as an artist he craved the freedom to explore radical ideas and styles. At sixteen, Klee’s landscape drawings already show considerable skill.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Interactive Flash feature: Paul Klee‘s Rotes Haus
Hammer Museum, California
The King of All Insects (Der K�nig alles Ungeziefers) , 1922