Sunset

Painting of blue, orange, and brown dots creating large abstract shapes.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Image actions

  • Painting of blue, orange, and brown dots creating large abstract shapes.

Date:

1930

Artist:

Paul Klee
German, born Switzerland, 1879–1940

About this artwork

Paul Klee was an artist and teacher at the Bauhaus for most of that famed school’s existence. Initially head of the bookbinding department, Klee made his greatest contribution as a lecturer on the theory of form in art for the basic design course. There, he developed his ideas about the “polyphony” of painting—the simultaneous effect of formal elements that produces “a transformed beholder of art.”

Klee was also a trained musician and shared with many artists of the early twentieth century the idea that music was the key to producing a new, abstract art. He was interested in the temporal character of music and its possible translation into forms of art. Works like Sunset reflect the principles of rhythm: linear structures, forms, and tonal values are orchestrated into a measured, vibrating image. To produce such a harmonious effect, Klee layered an intricate pattern of dots over a neutral background. Abstract, geometric, and overlapping shapes balance with recognizable forms, such as the schematic face in the upper left and the red sun and arrow in the lower right. The resulting composition—balancing stillness and movement, shallowness and depth—relates to Klee’s larger project of looking to music to produce an art that “does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible.”

On View

Modern Art, Gallery 393

Artist

Paul Klee

Title

Sunset

Origin

Germany

Date

1930

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, l.l.: "Klee"

Dimensions

18 1/8 × 27 3/4 in. (46.1 × 70.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary and Leigh Block

Reference Number

1981.13

Copyright

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share