Klee – (Shape Motifs)

Paul Klee - Hammamet with Mosque - 1914 - 21 x 28 cm - watercolour

This early watercolour by Paul Klee is a great example of how to provide space and depth with flat shapes and pattern within the shapes.

We automatically read space when we recognize the subject and adding details for the sake of information would only disrupt the freshness of this delightful painting.  Klee’s use of oblique lines, (which form triangles), rhythmically take us through the foreground. The sophistication comes from limiting detail to within a few shapes, and having it read almost as pattern.

The mosque is vertically integrated with the foreground and the sky beautifully.  And having the shapes in the sky continue the motif of the foreground and structures is superb.




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