Paul Klee, Woman and Animal, an etching and aquatint

Switzerland, AD 1904

Paul Klee (1879-1940), was a highly inventive and individual artist. He studied art in Germany from 1898 to 1901, followed by seven months travelling in Italy. After his return to his hometown of Berne, Switzerland in 1902 he executed his Opus 1 which he gave the title Inventions, between July 1903 and March 1905. The series is composed of eleven etchings which are the most perplexing works in his career. The images share a bizarre mixture of freakish, satirical distortion, obscure subjects and strong eroticism.

Klee intended this etching to be the first in the series. He derived it from two drawings entitled Whippet-like Beast and Doll-like Lady that he had made in Rome in 1902. In a diary entry he wrote of it: 'The beast in man pursues the woman, who is not entirely averse to it. Affinities of the lady with the bestial. A bit of unveiling of the female psyche. Recognition of a truth that one likes to mask.'

Klee practised primarily as a graphic artist until 1914 when he took up painting. Later in his career he was to become an influential teacher at the Bauhaus from 1920 to 1931.

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Paul Klee, Woman and Animal, an etching and aquatint

© 2001 DACS


More information


N. Lynton, Klee, 2nd ed. (London, Hamlyn, 1975)

F. Carey and A. Griffiths, The print in Germany 1880-1933, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)


Height: 183.000 mm
Width: 199.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1945-12-8-214


Gift of the Contemporary Art Society


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