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The Barbed Noose with the Mice by Paul Klee
The Barbed Noose with the Mice by Paul Klee

The Barbed Noose with the Mice, 1923

Paul Klee

The “barbed noose” of this painting’s title sounds like a medieval torture instrument, yet the four mice in this whimsical abstract composition look more like they’re playing a game than about to meet their ends in a barbaric mousetrap. Three of the rodents stand poised, about to enter some kind of maze. The fourth surveys the scene from atop a colorful wheel. The artist, Klee, is best known for paintings filled with a mischievous good humor — abstract, but usually with recognizable elements, like these endearing mice.

Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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