About this artwork

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.’

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  • title:
    Rechnender Greis [Old Man Calculating]
  • accession number:
    GMA 2095
  • artist:
    Paul KleeSwiss (1879 - 1940)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Etching on paper
  • date created:
    1929
  • measurements:
    29.70 x 23.80 cm (paper 52.50 x 43.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1979

Paul Klee

Paul Klee