Southern Gardens, a masterpiece of Paul Klee’s artistry, was created in 1919. It is made up of gouache and traces of ink on three sheets of paper that are mounted on cardboard. Each sheet has the measurements of 9 3/8″ x 11 7/8″ (23.8 cm x 30.2 cm). Klee was a Swiss painter of German origin; his unique, often humorous works were imbued with references to music, dreams and poetry, as well as having been influenced by movements such as Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism. During his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Klee met Wassily Kandinsky who he later collaborated with to form the Blue Rider Group (Der Blaue Reiter).
Highly decorative and imaginatively composed, Southern Gardens is an exquisite example of Klee’s artwork during this era – one in which he embraced a variety of techniques to create an enchanting visual narrative. Many connoisseurs admire the elegance, grace and sophistication that the painting radiates all while drawing contrasting environmental parallels between North African culture and European life. Following this incredible work was ‘Rose Garden’ (1920), another instance where Paul Klee held up a mirror to contemporary culture to reflect their austere atmosphere.