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Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: APF

Oriental Bliss

1938

Paul Klee

Paul Klee (1879–1940) experienced a “revelation of colour” in Tunisia in 1914. In 1938, in the middle of a grim period of illness and exile in Switzerland, glowing memories of his trip resurfaced in Sweetness of the East, which also draws on works by Matisse, Delaunay and Kandinsky, as well as a trip to Egypt. The grid of coloured squares with no perspective recalls a carpet, a mosaic or a medina quarter and contrasts with pictographic elements, including a human figure and some palm trees as well perhaps as a nazar boncuk, the blue eye-shaped Tunisian amulet offering protection against the evil eye. Like musical notes or calligraphic letters inspired by the cursive Arabic naskh script, they open up the field of a wholly new and poetic language.

Artwork Details

Artist: Paul Klee
Title: Oriental Bliss
Geography: Berne, Switzerland
Date: 1938
Medium: oil paint and tempera on paper glued to burlap
Classification: graphic arts (drawing, painting, engraving, calligraphy)
Dimensions: 50 x 66 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2009.037
Contact for images : images@louvreabudhabi.ae
Permalink : www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/art/collections/oriental-bliss

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