10 Most Famous Paintings by Paul Klee

Paul Klee (1879–1940) was a Swiss-German painter who is considered one of the greatest modern artists and is known for his highly individualistic style. His work is associated with many art movements including expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Here are 10 famous paintings by this revolutionary artist.



#10 Flower Myth

Flower Myth by Paul Klee
Flower Myth (1918)
Location:Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany
Year:1918

One of the most well-known paintings from the early part of Klee’s career, Flower Myth is a beautiful three-dimensional work which is a great example of creating a painting in mixed media.


#9 Death and Fire

Death and Fire by Paul Klee
Death and Fire (1940)
Location:Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
Year:1940

Death and Fire was painted in the year of Klee’s death. In this painting, he paints his own grimacing death mask without compassion with a skull in the center and the German word for death, ‘Tod’, appearing in the face.


#8 Insula Dulcamara

Insula Dulcamara by Paul Klee
Insula Dulcamara (1938)
Location:Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland
Year:1938

The largest painting created by Klee, Insula Dulcamara has symbols and signs which create a dream like affect. It means ‘Bittersweet Island’ and was created in his last years.



#7 Struck from the List

Struck From The List by Paul Klee
Struck From The List (1933)
Year:1933

After Klee’s house was searched by the Gestapo and he was fired from his job at the Dusseldorf Academy for being a Jew, he created this famous self-portrait.


#6 Cat and Bird

Cat and Bird by Paul Klee
Cat and Bird (1928)
Location:Museum of Modern Art, New York City, U.S.
Year:1928

An example of Klee creating an image which deals more with thought than with perception, Cat and Bird is among his most well-known works.


#5 Angelus Novus

Angelus Novus by Paul Klee
Angelus Novus (1920)
Location:Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Year:1920

The central character in this famous painting is interpreted as the ‘Angel of History’. The name and the concept of the angel have inspired many artists and musicians over the years.


#4 Landscape with Yellow Birds

Landscape with Yellow Birds by Paul Klee
Landscape with Yellow Birds (1923)
Location:Private Collection
Year:1923

One of his most important works during the Bauhaus period, Landscape with Yellow Birds is noted for its bright colors and its underlying themes. In 1995 experimental filmmaker, Kostas Sfikas created a film on Klee’s works and it was titled “Paul Klee’s Prophetic Bird of Sorrows” after this painting.



#3 Fish Magic

Fish Magic by Paul Klee
Fish Magic (1925)
Location:Philadelphia Museum of Art, U.S.
Year:1925

In this extraordinary painting, Klee creates a magical realm where all forms of life intermingle, the aquatic, the celestial, and the earthly. Fish Magic is often cited by his supporters as the best example of his works in which his two divergent gifts, his intellect and his imagination, come together.


#2 Twittering Machine

Twittering Machine by Paul Klee
Twittering Machine (1922)
Location:Museum of Modern Art, New York City, U.S.
Year:1922

Dubbed as ‘degenerate art’ by Adolf Hitler in 1933, this piece of art can now often be seen in children’s bedroom. There are various interpretations of Twittering Machine with art critics perceiving it as a nightmarish lure for the viewer to a depiction of the helplessness of the artist to a triumph of nature over mechanical pursuits. Among the most famous of Klee’s works, the painting is “one of the best-known treasures at the Museum of Modern Art” in New York.


#1 Ad Parnassum

Ad Parnassum by Paul Klee
Ad Parnassum (1932)
Location:Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Year:1932

In Greek mythology, Mount Parnassus was the abode of goddesses who inspired artists and Klee’s Ad Parnassum has been an inspiration for many modern artists. Considered his masterpiece, the painting highlights the skills with color of the master of color. It is the best example of his command over the pointillist style and it also showcases his technical ability.



2 thoughts on “10 Most Famous Paintings by Paul Klee”

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