Once Emerged from the Gray of Night 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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Gradiented mosaic, Once Emerged from the Gray of Night, captures the essence of an original poem of the same name

Paul Klee was fundamentally an artist who believed that art was one of the realities open to human awareness. His use of pattern, design, colour and miniature speaks of this philosophical principle.

Once emerged from the gray of Night was one of his exclusive masterpieces. He spent many art lessons to reproduce this and was able to create this poem in 1918.

The art is a picture poem which represents a fusion of skills in art and poetry. The origin of the poem remains unknown, the verse is not found in either the Chinese poems or in Psalms. Klee could have composed this poem by himself. The structure of the poem led to the composition of the art.

The structure of the image is a basic wall with artistically coloured squares. Black lines of its Arabic capitals determine positions of other partitions like the stones.

The art has two parts that are separated by a silver paper lining. This represents the two stanzas of this poem. Everything about the poem and art is artistically inspired, even the small details such as chromatic schema used to write the text.

Paul Klee made his first attempts to mix poetry and painting in 1916. He began with a series of water colours originating from Chinese poems. In several other works, the title text starts and the image follows. The letters in his paintings seem to lose their linguistic functions but the colour of squares are creatively crafted.

Just like in the poem above, Klee highly valued letters, numbers and paint to express himself originally. His high creativity gives an indication of the relationship he sees paint. He shows that numbers, letters and paint not only reveal a precise experience but also have a history form.