A beautiful vintage offset lithograph of Individualized Measurement of Strata (1930) by Paul Klee. This lithograph is printed on one side only and hand tipped-in on a sheet of heavy paper.     

Information regarding the original painting can be found by lifting the plate. 

Image: 6.5" x 8.5" tipped in on heavy paper.

Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss-born German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism.



Klee Foundation, Bern, Switzerland

THIS IS ONE OF THe SERIES of Egyptian "landscapes" which Klee painted after his visit to Egypt (December 1928 to January 1929). The series is anticipated by earlier works: two pictures dating from 1924 have the word

"Egypt" in their titles. As for the formal conception, this picture reminds us of the fugal, parallel style of 1926. But possibly Klee had been on the shores of the Nile in spirit before actually going there, for Blue Mountain of 1919 even more closely resembles an Egyptian landscape.

We see a pattern consisting of horizontal stripes of varying widths, but only a few of these stripes extend all the way across the picture; most of them are cut by verticals. The horizontal organization of the picture is to some extent neutralized by the vertical one, particularly because the stripes within the verticals differ in width and color from the others. Just as in the parallel figurations, the result is a formal structure that seems to express a certain order and has nothing to do with Egypt.

What Klee expected to find in Egypt was not what ordinary travelers expect to find. He was drawn to Egypt as he had been drawn to Tunisia in 1914, because it offered a unique combination of the East and the West, which Goethe had captured for his time in the Westöstliche Divan. Already on his way there, in Syracuse, he said that "the right thing is the historical stimulus combined with nature." The simultaneous view of time and space, which Egypt induced in him, became the keynote of his vision and of his art. He penetrated into the primeval past which had been waiting for someone to begin it anew. History and landscape overlap each other in the tilled fields of the Nile Valley, in the pyramids and temples, and the visual expe. rience "reaches a deeper reality." There Klee found his inspiration.

Does Measurement of Strata merely represent geological layers or does it, like Highway and Byways (1929), embody an aspect of Egypt? Here as elsewhere the pattern, which had probably been latent in Klee before, has connotations both spiritual and physical, and Measurement of Strata expresses Egypt no less than Monument in Fertile Country, only it is more severe and does not suggest the pyramid form. The green stripe at the bottom of the picture is the Nile, and the light ocher stripe on top is a hill. In between lie fields of various colors; they suggest layers, but also express a human order. This is an allegorical picture that does not reveal its secret.