Harmonie der nördlichen Flora (1927)

Paul Klee was the son of a music teacher Hans Wilhelm Klee and his mother Ida arie Frick was a singer. He was born on the 18th of December 1879. He also had a sister called Mathilde. He grew up in Bern (Switzerland) but originates from Germany. Paul himself could play violin very well. Despite his parents'resistance he decided to become a painter.

In den Häusern von St. Germain (1919)
Self Portrait (1909)

He wanted to study at the Art Academy in Munich in 1998 but was refused. Therefore he took private lessons from Heinrich Knirr. He had various relations with women and also conceived a child that only lived for a few weeks. Finally he went to the Art Academy in 1900 where he skipped class and didn't learn much. In 1901 he left Munich to see Rome, Napels and Florence. The early Christian art and Byzantine art there inspired him a lot. Then he moved back to Bern where he learned to create his own art style by self study.

Southern Garden (1919)

In 1906 Paul married pianist Lily Stumpf. They had a son in 1907 named Felix who was was mainly raised by his father. Paul was recruited to join World War I but not in the trenches. He painted the airplanes instead. His paintings were succesfull and became a teacher at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. That gave him a guaranteed income. He often didn't show up at school and therefore his contract ended in April 1931 as a teacher. But in October he was already accepted as a teacher at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf.

Senecio (1922)

But in 1933 everything changed quickly. He was fired when the national socialists got power. First he was accused of being Jude but mainly it was because of his left-wing political ideas. He was however very productive in painting those days. He returned to Bern and waited on his naturalization to become Swiss and drop his German indentity. He eventually got his Swiss identity and he also had to ask to get civil rights in the Canton Bern but never received those before he died. His paintings were very sad and he was less productive after leaving Nazi Germany. In 1937 the nazis took 102 of his painting in custody.

Rich Harbour (1938)
Heroic Roses (1938)

Vorhaben (1938)

Paul suffered a serious uncurable disease called scleroderma. In 1939 he went to Ticino (Switzerland) to undergo a course of treatment. On the 8th of June he was taken to a hospital in Locarno where he died on the 29th of June at the age of 60. One of his last paintings was titled "Tod und Feuer". His art was classified in many styles like expressionism, cubism, surrealism and abstraction. But since he learned himself his style it was hard to classify.

Tod und Feurer (1940)
Grave of Paul Klee and Lily Klee-Stumpf