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Image of The March to the Summit

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The March to the Summit

Paul Klee, Swiss, (December 18, 1879–June 29, 1940)

Creation date: 1922
Creation place: Europe

Other Information

Type: Watercolor Painting
Medium and Support: Brown ink with watercolor on mounted on card with painted border
Credit Line: Bequest of Earle W. Grant
Accession Number: 1972.50
Dimensions: 8 in. x 9 1/4 in. (20.32 cm x 23.5 cm)
Currently on view


James Vigeveno Galleries, Los Angeles, California ( - March 4, 1957)

Werner Rusche, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany ( - ca. 1955)

Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland (ca. 1955 - ca. 1957)

Earle Wilkin Grant, San Diego, California (March 4, 1957 - 1972)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1972 - )

Label Copy

Human Beast
Summer 2012
The whimsical scene presented here is typical of Klee’s work: a man marches up a mountain, apparently playing the bagpipes and accompanied by his dog. Essentially nonsensical, it is an exercise in improvisation and wit, in which truth to nature counts for nothing and any resemblance to actual events is purely ironic. Even forms need not cohere into nature in Klee’s created world, and it is indeed difficult to explain what the shapes to the left of the dog could be.
The drawing is dedicated to Lothar Schreyer, Klee’s fellow professor at the Bauhaus, the school of art and design that also included Kandinsky, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe among its instructors.

Tradition and Innovation installation
August 2003
Like many avant-garde artists of his time, Klee used a wide selection of materials not previously considered suitable within the context of fine art painting. He favored the use of watercolor for its flexibility—allowing him to explore and to formulate unusual techniques—and for its bright, glowing colors. “Color possesses me,” he revealed in 1916. “I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: color and I are one. I am a painter.”
This painting has several sheets of paper superimposed one over another. To heighten aesthetic expression and to add visual interest, Klee made use of the different textures of the support; the chain lines of the laid paper create a striped effect, which is further enhanced by several superimposed washes.
Last Updated: 5/28/2014


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Permanent Collections exhibit , 00/00/00 - 5/6/1981

The German Expressionists: Original, Vital, Unique Dalzell Hatfield Galleries , 4/22/1958 - 5/17/1958

Choices from the Grant-Munger Collection San Diego Museum of Art , 4/13/1961 - 5/28/1961

Paul Klee, 1879–1940: A Retrospective Exhibition The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation , 2/20/1967 - 12/31/1967

Bauhaus Color The High Museum of Art , 1/31/1976 - 9/21/1976

Tradition and Innovation of European Modernis Drawings in Watercolors San Diego Museum of Art , 8/23/2003 - 12/14/2003

The Human Beast: German Expressionism at The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 7/21/2012 - 11/11/2012

The Human Beast San Diego Museum of Art , 7/21/2012 - 11/11/2012


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Malcolm Warner. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 222, 245, Figure Number: 245

Grant-Munger Collection: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, May 1970
Page Number: 35, Figure Number: 72

Grant-Munger Collection: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, May 1970
Page Number: 107, no. 72

Paul Klee, 1879–1940: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, New York, February 1967
Page Number: 45, Figure Number: 53

Mr. Josef Helfenstein, ed. Paul Klee: Thames and Hudson Ltd.. London, England, 1999
Page Number: 434 no. 2970, Figure Number: 2970

Mr. Clark V. Poling. Bauhaus Color The High Museum of Art. Atlanta, Georgia, 1975
Page Number: 19, 67, Figure Number: 19

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