Captive (1940) by Paul Klee

Captive - Klee, Paul - 1940 - 2

Artwork Information

ArtistPaul Klee
MediumOil on burlap
Dimensions18 7/8 x 17 3/8 in.
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationCollection Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Zimmerman, New York
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About Captive

Captive is an artwork created by the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee in 1940. The painting shows a figure looking intently at the viewer, a theme commonly found in Klee’s works. Captive has been classified as both expressionistic and cubist depending on how it is interpreted. Some art critics and historians suggest that the figure depicted in the painting might represent Paul Klee himself. Through this work, Klee aimed to capture the duality between the human spirit and its associations with the world — something that he had already explored in another piece called Ad Parnassum, painted two years prior in 1932. Ad Parnassum is a landscape painting with an intricate arrangement of organic forms, shapes, colours and surfaces that create an untamed beauty full of life, evoking a sense of calmness. This masterpiece by Paul Kleecan be seen as a perfect representation of his deep connection with nature and astronomy and how he used art as his language to express his spiritual understanding of existence.

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