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Of Angels, Things, and Death

Paul Klee's Last Painting in Context


Mark Luprecht

Frequently hailed as the capstone of Paul Klee's career, his Composition on a Black Ground (often called Last Still Life) has never been subjected to extensive analysis. This study interprets this masterpiece by placing it within the context of Klee's life, work, and thought, as well as within the larger field of the contemporary European intellectual milieu. The result shows Klee as a kindred spirit of well-known contemporaries like Rainer Maria Rilke, Carl Gustav Jung, and Martin Buber, and explains how his final painting is the profound, comprehensive statement of a dying artist.