search 7500+ artists, their works, museums, movements, countries, time periods, media, specializations
ART “4” “2”-DAY  18 December
<<< 17 Dec|   |||||   CLICK FOR OTHER DATES   |||||   /19 Dec >>>

^ Born on 18 December 1879: Paul Klee, Swiss German Expressionist painter who died on 29 June 1940.
—      A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee is difficult to classify. Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children's art all seem blended into his small-scale, delicate paintings, watercolors, and drawings.
      Klee grew up in a musical family and was himself a violinist (like Ingres). After much hesitation he chose to study art, not music, and he attended the Munich Academy in 1900. There for his teacher, he got stuck with the popular symbolist and society painter Franz von Stuck. Klee later toured Italy (1901-02), responding enthusiastically to Early Christian and Byzantine art.
      Klee's early works are mostly etchings and pen-and-ink drawings. These combine satirical, grotesque, and surreal elements and reveal the influence of Francisco de Goya and James Ensor, both of whom Klee admired. Two of his best-known etchings, dating from 1903, are Virgin in a Tree and Two Men Meet, Each Believing the Other to Be of Higher Rank. Such peculiar, evocative titles are characteristic of Klee and give his works an added dimension of meaning.
      After his marriage in 1906 to the pianist Lili Stumpf, Klee settled in Munich, then an important center for avant-garde art. That same year he exhibited his etchings for the first time. His friendship with the painters Wassily Kandinsky and August Macke prompted him to join Der Blaue Reiter, an expressionist group that contributed much to the development of abstract art. A turning point in Klee's career was his visit to Tunisia with Macke and Louis Molliet in 1914. He was so overwhelmed by the intense light there that he wrote: "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever. That is the significance of this blessed moment. Color and I are one. I am a painter." He now built up compositions of colored squares that have the radiance of the mosaics he saw on his Italian sojourn. The watercolors Red and White Domes and Remembrance of a Garden (1914) are distinctive of this period.
      Klee often incorporated letters and numerals into his paintings, as in Once Emerged from the Gray of Night (1918). These, part of Klee's complex language of symbols and signs, are drawn from the unconscious and used to obtain a poetic amalgam of abstraction and reality. He wrote that "Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes visible," and he pursued this goal in a wide range of media using an amazingly inventive battery of techniques. Line and color predominate with Klee, but he also produced series of works that explore mosaic and other effects.
      Klee taught at the Bauhaus school after World War I, where his friend Kandinsky was also a faculty member. In Pedagogical Sketchbook (1925), one of his several important essays on art theory, Klee tried to define and analyze the primary visual elements and the ways in which they could be applied. In 1931 he began teaching at Dusseldorf Akademie, but he was dismissed by the Nazis, who termed his work “degenerate.” In 1933, Klee went to Switzerland. There he came down with the crippling collagen disease scleroderma, which forced him to develop a simpler style and eventually killed him. The late works, characterized by heavy black lines, are often reflections on death and war, but his last painting, Still Life (1940), is a serene summation of his life's concerns as a creator.

      Né en Suisse, Klee suit une solide formation de peintre à Munich, la capitale artistique de l’Allemagne. Ses "Inventions" satiriques et des illustrations de "Candide" de Voltaire témoignent de cet apprentissage où l’on sent déjà percer le symbolisme ainsi qu’un fantasmatique débridé et grinçant.
      Comme beaucoup de peintres, il parcourt l’Italie et la Sicile les deux premières années du siècle. Puis à Paris, il se familiarise avec le Cubisme. Chez Cézanne et Van Gogh, il apprend l’art de la Lumière. A la veille de la première guerre mondiale il part en Tunisie, ce qui influencera nettement son chromatisme. Après la guerre, c’est en Allemagne qu’il travaillera, peindra et enseignera (au Bauhaus à Weimar, la capitale de la République de Weimar). Il expose en Allemagne, mais aussi à Paris avec les surréalistes en 1925. Parallèlement à son œuvre et à ses expositions, il enseigne aux beaux-Arts à Dusseldorf.
      Dans une œuvre onirique et grâcieuse, qui participe de l’abstraction pure, il adhère au mouvement du surréalisme, dont il deviendra l’un des principaux théoriciens. Mais dès 1933 la persécution des Nazis vis à vis des arts "dégénérés", particulièrement des peintre surréalistes, l’oblige à quitter définitivement l‘Allemagne pour la Suisse. Il y meurt, désabusé et malade, le 29 Jun 1940.. Ah... et son violon d'Ingres était... le violon.

1914SeiltanzerInsula DulcamaraSüdliche GärtenTunisian GardensAncient SoundsLegend of the NileThe Golden FishThreat of LightningCaptiveParnassusDer Marsch zum GipfelJesterKronenarr

Died on a 18 December:
1911 Grigori Grigorievich Miassoiedoff, Russian artist born in 1834 or 1835.
1902 Bengt Nordenberg, Swedish artist born on 22 April 1822.
1828 Joseph Rebell, Austrian artist born on 11 January 1787. [There is no place on the Internet for a Rebell, it seems].

Born on a 18 December:
1920 Enrique Grau, Colombian artist.
1898 Giuseppe Viviani, Italian artist who died in 1965.
1837 David Adolf Constant Artz, Dutch artist who died on 05 November 1890. [I find no Artz in the arts sites on the Internet]
1835 William Frederick Yeames, British artist who died on 03 May 1918.
1820 Carl Ludwig Friedrich Becker, German artist who died on 20 December 1900.
1633 Willen van de Velde, British artist who died 07 April 1707.
1631 Ludolf Bakhuyzen (or Backhuyzen), Dutch artist who died on 17 November 1708.


updated 021122 22:52 UT
safe site
site safe for children safe site
IF SOMETHING'S WRONG HERE, TRY MIRROR 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19