His technique here arguably has its roots in Impressionism, with a landscape subject reduced to partially-abstract shapes, albeit retaining an essential recognisability.

But Klee has taken this process a step further than many of the Impressionist masters would have dared. His depiction of the buildings in an almost childlike assemblage of lines and dots, which together form merely the loosest impression of walls, roofs and windows.

The gravel pit, meanwhile, is depicted as a mass of amorphous green and yellow shapes, splashed onto the canvas in a loose manner which suggests movement: the wind blowing in long grass, perhaps.

That the painting was made in 1913, a year before Europe was torn apart by the First World War, adds an element of poignancy. This is European landscape almost quivering with unease, the buildings ghostly echoes of the skeletal structures which they may someday become. Anyone who owns a Klee painting will own a chunk of European art history.

Born in 1879 and dying in 1940, Paul Klee lived to see the era in which the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth. In the process, he saw the classical art of the nineteenth century give way to the revolutionary movements of the twentieth.

His wan an age in which Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism and other movements broke down old boundaries and redefined what effects art could achieve on its audience.

With this aesthetic turmoil raging around him, Paul Klee leapt into the fray, emerging as one of the key talents in the entire field of modern art. Make no mistake, the art world would be very different indeed without Paul Klee.

Although heavily influenced by the revolutionary artistic movements that were occurring around him, Paul Klee's artwork achieves a style that is unmistakeably his and his alone.

At the same time, he was capable of varying his style, working with a range of different techniques which were at once distinct from one another and ultimately existing beneath the same aesthetic umbrella.

Sometimes he worked with geometric shapes, a practice which perhaps reflects his period as a Bauhaus teacher earlier on in his career; but Klee forsook the cleanness and balance of Bauhaus, instead reaching a sort of airiness and intangibility that owed more to the world of Cubism.