Paul Klee

Portrait of Frau P. in the South


Paul Klee’s vacation in Sicily during the summer of 1924 provided him with the subjects for several watercolors that capture the color, light, and mood of a specific geographical location and cast of characters. This portrait is a good-natured caricature of what might be a prim northern lady whose absurd hat insufficiently shields her from the intensity of the Mediterranean sun. The vivid, warm color that thickens and thins atmospherically over the surface of the page is incised with simplified graphic contours. The heart shape on Frau P.’s chest appears frequently in Klee’s work, sometimes as a mouth, nose, or torso. The motif bridged the organic and inorganic worlds for the artist by symbolizing life forces while serving as a “mediating form between circle and rectangle”.

On view

Artist Paul Klee
Original Title Bildnis der Frau P. im Süden
Date 1924
Medium Watercolor and oil transfer drawing on paper, mounted on gouache-painted board
Dimensions 42.5 x 31 cm, including mount
Credit line Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)
Accession 76.2553 PG 89
Collection Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Type Work on paper

Copy caption

On view

Other artworks

Unrecorded Nkanu artist


first half of 20th century

Not on View