Rechnender Greis [Old Man Calculating]

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Rechnender Greis [Old Man Calculating] 1929
Klee visited Egypt in 1929, the year this print was made, and the landscape of the country made a great impression on him mentally and visually. He felt that past and present existed in simultaneous layers, and the barren desert landscapes took the form of bands of horizontal lines in his drawings and paintings. The figure in this print is recognisable as an old man from his bald head and toothless mouth. Klee has used extra lines around the man’s hands, which emphasises the impression of him moving his fingers for counting. Klee’s linear images are deceptively simple, but he wrote of his depictions of people: ‘My mirror probes down to the heart…My human faces are truer than real ones.’

Glossary Open


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.



  • Acc. No. GMA 2095
  • Medium Etching on paper
  • Size 29.70 x 23.80 cm (paper 52.50 x 43.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1979