Musée d'Orsay: Paul Klee (1879-1940)The Ernst Beyeler collection

Paul Klee (1879-1940)
The Ernst Beyeler collection


Paul KleeTiges / Halme© Fondation Beyeler / Photo Peter Schibli
Paul Klee is one of the leading artists in the Ernst and Hildy Beyeler collection on show at the Beyeler Foundation near Basle. Ernst Beyeler, one of the most important gallery owners of the 20th century, took an interest in Klee's work very early on, attracted above all by the poetry and musicality of his work. He started buying drawings and paintings in the 1950s, first from collectors, then later from Felix Klee, the artist's son

The works selected for the exhibition at the Orangerie represent the major stages in the painter's creative development, while at the same time reflecting Beyeler's preference for Klee's later work. The focus is therefore on the later years (1938-1940), marked by coloured backgrounds punctuated by strong black and brown lines. The collector himself referred to the spectacular increase in Klee's artistic expression at the end of his life. Beyeler speaks of "a move towards a tragic dimension, towards a dramatic vision that includes other worlds".

The presentation of these magnificent works by Klee at the Orangerie enables Parisian art lovers to rediscover an artist who is today regarded as one of the major references for modern art. It is also a tribute to Ernst Beyeler who died on 25 February 2010.


Emmanuel Bréon, Director of the Musée National de l'Orangerie

Scientific Curators

Marie-Madeleine Massé, urator, Musée National de l'Orangerie
Philippe Büttner, Curator, Beyeler Foundation

This exhibition was organised by the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie, with the exceptional support of the Beyeler Foundation in Riehen / Basle

14 April - 19 July 2010

Paris, Musée National de l'Orangerie

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