Paul Klee. Comedian (Komiker) from the series Inventions (Inventionen). 1904

Paul Klee

Comedian (Komiker) from the series Inventions (Inventionen)


Etching and aquatint
plate: 6 x 6 5/8" (15.3 x 16.8 cm); sheet: 15 3/4 x 12 1/8" (40 x 30.8 cm)
the artist, Bern
Max Girardet, Bern
approx. 50; plus one known trial proof of state I
Object number
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Paul Klee has 144 works online.
There are 20,281 prints online.

This is one of several etchings Klee made that refer to ancient Greek comedies; in this example, both mask and face are significantly deformed. The artist said, "This is my most personal work up to now...Its expression flowed from my deepest soul." Klee described the subject of this print as "a grotesque mask on a grave and moral head...The mask represents art, behind it hides man." He considered the print's etched lines to be "roads to the analysis of the work of art."

Gallery label from 2006

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Hans Goltz, Munich; Staatliche graphische Sammlungen, Munich, 1920 [1]; removed as “degenerate art” by the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1937 [2]; on consignment to Karl Buchholz, Berlin; to Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1941.
[1] Collection stamp "K. B. GRAPHISCHE SAMMLUNG" on verso. Inventory no. 161.
[2] EK no. 15654: Komiker

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