Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Traveling Circus by Paul Klee

Paul Klee
Swiss, 1879-1940

Traveling Circus
Mixed Media on Canvas

"In Klee's whimsical Traveling Circus, a one-eyed clown wearing a sombrero, a female acrobat, and a donkey appear before a circus tent with pennants flying.  The artist uses subtle colors and a stippled technique to create this nocturnal scene. It's hard to reconcile the childlike playfulness of the drawing with the political events of 1937.  During that year, Nazis seized 102 of Klee's works from museums and collections throughout Germany, and included seventeen of these works in the Degenerate Art exhibition at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. Perhaps Traveling Circus alludes to the artist's own unsettled situation, as he had been forced to leave Germany and was living in Swiss exile at the time of its creation."

- Baltimore Museum of Art

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