Forest Witch Paul Klee Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Forest Witch (Wald-Hexen), was painted by Klee in 1938, just two years before his passing from scleroderma in 1940.

This dramatic, abstract, post-war painting is arguably one of the most stunning of his later career. The thick, black lines on a background of sombre olive green and vibrant red and orange intersect, gradually revealing the image of two forest witches.

This combination of mournful and bright colours is typical of much of Paul Klee's work, but is perhaps more profound here, in this painting created so close to his death, where his despair and optimism can be felt simultaneously.

Perhaps one of the most prolific and imaginative artists of the 20th century, Swiss-German painter Paul Klee created more than 10,000 paintings, etchings, drawings, and writings during his lifetime.

His vast body of work was not confined to a single medium, nor a single artistic style. The style of Paul Klee was a blend of expressionism, surrealism, and cubism, creating a unique works that invites the viewer to spend some time engaging visually and mentally with the painting.

Paul Klee was the second of two children born into a musical family in Switzerland. His mother was a professionally trained singer, and his father was a German music teacher.

Paul Klee inherited his parents' aptitude for music; he was a child prodigy, playing the violin at the age of 7, quickly performing at such an impressive level so as to be invited to be an extraordinary member of the Bern Music Association at age 11.

However, as an adolescent, Klee abandoned his musical pursuits, in spite of his parents' wishes. The modern music of the day did not speak to him, and so he began to gravitate toward visual arts, already possessing a demonstrable ability for landscape drawing.

The creative momentum that began in his youth continued, albeit at times waxing and waning until his later years. It is here, toward the end of his life, that Paul Klee experienced the peak of his creative output as an artist, producing such notable paintings as Revolution of the Viaduct in 1937, Forest Witch in 1938, and Death and Fire in 1940.