Journal article Open Access

'Vater und Sohn' – Das verschollene Frühwerk von Paul Klee?

Fuchs, Walther

A photograph from the estate of Sasha Morgenthaler has recently come to light in which a previously unknown early work by Paul Klee can be seen. Subsequently the early work is here tentatively assigned to the composition called Father and Son that Klee mentions several times in his correspondence with Lily. For Klee this study, which can be dated to the autumn of 1902, anticipates the group of inventions. The composition was evidently influenced by Klee’s profound knowledge of human anatomy and studies of form in the manner of Hodler. Klee reworked the version of Father and Son in different ways but none of them satisfied Klee’s desire for successful visual representation of the ideal fantasy state. He therefore destroyed the different variants of the subject Father and Son, so that the photographic reproduction is all that has survived. In the photograph taken in the artist’s studio and his letters to Lily, Klee for the first time represents the artist’s studio as an interpretation of the artistic myth of creation.

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