Ad Parnassun (Paul Klee, 1932)

Ad Parnassum - Paul Klee - 1932

Artwork Information

TitleAd Parnassum
ArtistPaul Klee
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions126 x 100 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationKunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland

About Ad Parnassum

“Ad Parnassum” is a significant artwork by Paul Klee that was created in 1932. This oil on canvas masterpiece is an example of Expressionism, measuring 126 by 100 centimeters. While the artwork’s genre is classified as a cityscape, it strays from traditional representation and delves into the abstract. Currently housed at the Kunstmuseum Bern in Bern, Switzerland, “Ad Parnassum” represents a pivotal piece within Klee’s body of work.

The artwork is an intricate mosaic of color and geometry that suggests an abstracted landscape, likely inspired by the mythological Mount Parnassus, a symbol of artistic and poetic endeavor. The large triangular form dominating the composition possibly represents the mountain itself, with the architectural element at the lower left introducing a sense of human presence or a gateway. The overall grid-like structure is meticulously filled with small, individually colored squares that evoke the sensation of a vast multitude of windows or a complex tapestry woven together with a diverse palette.

Dominating the upper right quadrant of the artwork is a vibrant orange sun, which casts its warmth across the scene and intersects with the mountain-like triangle, implying the celestial journey of the sun and time itself. The use of varying shades and tones creates depth and suggests the ethereal quality of light playing across the landscape. Klee’s precision in the formation of the squares results in a rhythmic pattern that offers both harmony and a subtle tension between the elements.

In the realm of expressionism, Klee transcends the literal representation of a cityscape, inviting contemplation on the blending of the physical and the metaphysical, the real and the imagined. His treatment of the subject matter and innovative technique mark “Ad Parnassum” as a masterpiece of early 20th-century art.

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