A striking vintage offset lithograph of Ventriloquist (Caller in the Moor), 1923 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" 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.

Ventriloquist belongs to the group of colored sheets in which transparent horizontal and vertical bands cross and form a kind of screen of varied rectangles. In itself the effect of this pattern is like that of the "magic square" pattern, in which squares and rectangles are put side by side abstractly, somewhat reminiscent of the twelve-tone system in music. But most of the screen pictures contain graphic designs imprinted on the screen by transfer or rubbing. In this way Klee links the poetic element of the design with the poetic element of the scene represented.

The Ventriloquist is one of Klee's most grotesque figures. The inflated body with its pinks and light blues on the varying browns and olives of the screen suggests a eunuch. Inside the belly are all sorts of animals whose voices are transmitted to us through a gramophone horn. The pitifully small arms are raised like those of a real orator, but they reach into the void, into the brown darkness of the grid. He is a "Caller in the Moor" as we learn from the subtitle. Once we know this, the light pink and light blue tones may suggest a will-o'-the-wisp quality.