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The Man of Confusion

Artist
Paul Klee, Swiss, 1879–1940
Date
1939
Material
Oil on canvas
Made in
Western Europe, Switzerland, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 212
Dimensions
26 1/4 x 19 7/8 in. (66.7 x 50.5 cm)
framed: 27 1/4 x 20 7/8 x 1 1/4 in. (69.2 x 53 x 3.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr.
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
410:1952
NOTES
Parts of the human body, including a wide-eyed face and two hands, float amidst amorphous flesh-toned forms. After Paul Klee was forced to leave Germany and return to his native Switzerland during the Nazi regime,he became afflicted with scleroderma, a chronic disease affecting the skin and organs of the body. Man of Confusion, painted a year before Klee’s death from the disease, presents a self-portrait of the artist in a state of mental and bodily distress.
1939
Galerie Simon (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, France [1]

1939 - 1942
Nierendorf Gallery (Karl Nierendorf), New York, NY, USA, acquired from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler [2]

1942 - 1952
Joseph Pulitzer Jr. (1913-1993) and Louise Vauclain Pulitzer (d.1968), St. Louis, MO, purchased from Nierendorf Gallery [3]

1952 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Joseph Pulitzer Jr. and Louise Vauclain Pulitzer [4]


Notes:
[1] Confirmed through archival material (correspondence and a shipping list dated November 17, 1939) by Eva Wiederkehr Sladeczek, head of the Paul Klee catalogue raisonné project at the Kunstmuseum Bern [Email dated July 1, 2002, SLAM document files].

[2] See note [1].

[3] Joseph Pulitzer acquired the painting from Nierendorf Gallery in October 1942 [Chetham, Charles Scott. "Modern Painting, Drawing & Sculpture Collected by Louise and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr." Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum, vol. 1, 1957, cat. 34].

[4] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, December 4, 1952.
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