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Joyful Mountain Landscape by Paul Klee
Joyful Mountain Landscape by Paul Klee

Joyful Mountain Landscape, 1929

Paul Klee

This composition of geometric shapes would seem totally abstracted if it weren’t for the delicate little tree form, at center. This lets us understand this work as a landscape, and the interlocking shapes as mountains. The painting is a response to the stratified cliffs of the Nile Valley and the long strips of tilled fields Klee saw on a visit there. He said the works he made about Egypt, “moved far from Nature and found their way back to reality.” The variation within the simple formal palette of line and color constructs depth and space, and even evokes a nighttime desert fire.

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Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
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