Paul Klee

The Castle Mountain of S.


Not on display

Paul Klee 1879–1940
Original title
Der Schlossberg von S.
Gouache on paper on board
Support: 368 × 467 mm
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1941

Display caption

These two works show Klee’s great imaginative and technical versatility. In The Castle of Mountain S, the mysterious castle seems to have emerged from the artist’s process of heavily working the paint. The freer process of ‘taking a line for a walk’ animates Burdened Children showing the spontaneity that Klee associated with childhood.

Gallery label, April 2008

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Catalogue entry

Paul Klee 1879-1940

N05278 The Castle Mountain of S. 1930

Inscribed on mount 'VII [crossed out] 1930 qu. 2' b.l. and 'der Schlossberg von S.' b.r.
Gouache on paper, 14 1/2 x 18 3/8 (37 x 47)
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1941
Prov: With Mayor Gallery, London (purchased from the artist through the Galerie Simon, Paris, 1935); through Leicester Galleries, London; CAS 1941
Exh: Paul Klee, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf, June-July 1931 (221); Paul Klee, Mayor Gallery, London, June 1935 (4), title mistranslated as 'The Quarter on the Hill'; Paul Klee, Leicester Galleries, London, March 1941 (35); Paul Klee 1879-1940, National Gallery, London, December 1945-February 1946 (100); Acquisitions of the CAS, Tate Gallery, September-October 1946 (125); CAS: The First Fifty Years 1910-60, Tate Gallery, April-May 1960 (170)
Repr: Studio, CXXV, 1943, p.106; John Rothenstein, Modern Foreign Pictures in the Tate Gallery (London 1947), pl.99

Executed with a palette knife. The medium and technique are described in Klee's oeuvre catalogue as 'Kleisterfarbe (Messerarbeit)'.

Will Grohmann wrote of this work: 'Here the technical process has determined the result. Klee certainly had no particular place in mind. The theme of a "castle" is recurrent in his work, as in that of Kafka, and signifies little more than a place which is secret and very hard to reach' (letter of 14 June 1953).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.388, reproduced p.388


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