Lot 3617* - A183 Prints & Multiples - Saturday, 09. December 2017, 10.30 AM


(Münchenbuchsee/Bern 1879 - 1940 Muralto)
Hoffmanneske Szene. 1921.
Colour lithograph. From an edition of 100. Signed, dated and with the work number in pencil lower centre: Klee 1921/123. Image 31.5 x 22.8 cm on firm vélin 35 x 26.5 cm. Published and printed by Staatlichen Bauhaus, Weimar.
From the 14-part portfolio "Erste Mappe: Meister des Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar, 1922".

- Collection Emil Frey, Germany.
- By descent to the present owner, since then private collection Southern Germany.

Catalogue raisonné: Kornfeld, no. 82 2c.

Literature: Söhn, Gerhart: Handbuch der Original-Graphik in deutschen Zeitschriften, Mappenwerken, Kunstbüchern und Katalogen 1890-1933, vol. 1, Düsseldorf 1989, no. 101-6.

Paul Klee’s colour lithograph “Hoffmanneske Szene” (Hoffmannesque scene) is based on the novella “Der goldene Topf” (The Golden Pot), probably the most successful work of E.T. A. Hoffmann. The young Anselmus is thrown hither and thither between everyday reality and a world of fantasy. Hoffmann, in his tale, jumps between these two worlds, until in the end Anselmus finds his happiness in the world of fantasy.

Klee hints at some of the events of the novella in his colour lithograph. At the beginning Anselmus hears voices and crystal bells coming from an elderberry bush, which we see to the left of the image. On the right-hand side is a curiously shaped bottle, which again reminds us of the bottle, in which Anselmus is briefly trapped. The vessel in the centre could be a reference to the golden pot. With great wit Paul translates this story into his own aesthetic language.

The background is dominated by an abstract composition, against which the various figural elements are placed, whereby Klee creates a creates a sense of depth, as is typical of his Bauhaus prints. This period as teacher at the Bauhaus was very productive for Klee’s printed work, since he was able to break new ground using the modern facilities of the printing workshop at the Bauhaus.

The present sheet belongs to the so-called Bauhaus master portfolio, which so powerfully demonstrates the quality and love of experimentation of the Bauhaus teachers. It includes the best of printed graphic art of the 1920s.

CHF 12 000 / 18 000

€ 10 530 / 15 790

Sold for CHF 19 700 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.