* 1879 Münchenbuchsee/Schweiz
† 1940 Muralto/Locarno
The Swiss-German artist Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee near Bern on December 18, 1879. He goes to Munich to study painting at the academy in 1898. At first, he is refused admittance and takes drawing classes at a private art school instead. In 1900 he is finally accepted into the class of Franz von Stuck.
But Klee leaves the academy again as early as in 1901. In the following, he travels through Italy, returning to Bern in May 1902. He invests a lot of time in graphic techniques, mainly etchings. He travels to Paris in 1905 and returns to Munich in 1906, working as a violin player and music critic besides continuing his artistic activities.
He only returns to painting after visits to various galleries, where he encounters works by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. His first exhibitions in the Bern Museum of Art and the Zurich House of Art comprise graphic works only.
Paul Klee gets to know Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, August Macke and Marianne von Werefkin in Munich in 1911. The first exhibition of the "Blaue Reiter" (Blue Rider) in the gallery Thannhauser also includes paintings by Robert Delaunay, with whom Paul Klee is dealing with intensively over the following years. Klee also shows graphic works in the second "Blaue Reiter"-exhibition. He participates in a "Sonderbund" exhibition in Cologne in 1912.
He goes on a journey to Tunis together with August Macke and Louis Moilliet in 1914, creating a number of watercolors.
Klee is drafted for World War I in 1916, however, his duty as a paymaster leaves enough time for artistic activities.
Paul Klee follows a call to the newly-found Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1920. His teachings regarding sculptural forms have a great impact.
He teaches at the Düsseldorf Academy as of 1931 from which he is unconditionally dismissed by the National Socialists in 1933. He returns to Bern. In 1935 the Bern Kunsthalle shows a large retrospective. Klee falls severely ill the same year. He does just a few works over the following three years. By 1937 he has recovered and feels well enough to begin with his great late work.
Paul Klee dies in Muralto near Locarno in the Swiss canton Ticino on June 29, 1940.
The artists maintains a sketchbook with his ideas from 1897 to 1918. His "Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch" (Educational Sketchbook) is published in the series of Bauhaus books.