Fish Magic is a combination of a charming scene decoratedwith vibrant colors to make one of the most famous paintings. The painting byPaul Klee has evoked multiple emotions inthe audience, as it has it is full of aura.
The Fish Magic by Klee wascompleted during his prime years as an artist before he died of scleroderma.The painting has however remained to be one of the pieces which sparked thecreativity of the painter and infused a differentlevel of skills to create a new figure.Fish magic was created ina pane using oil and watercolors. Itcombines the components from the sea, such as fish, the earth, which areflowers and the galaxy, that is the moon and the planets. The painting appearsas though Klee was conveying a complex story using the elements of the sea, skyon canvas and the earth. He expresses his romantic, expressionist and surrealmood through the painting1. Any person examiningKlee’s work for the first time willdefinitely think it was a work of a nursery watercolorworm.
After looking carefully at the elements, one can see how the elements inthe painting fuse together to illustrate a message after seeing hoe Klee wasmanaged to make an artistic impression using simple elements. There are several imitationsof the Fish Magic painting, which have been produced after the completion ofthe initial painting but have not reachedthe standard of the initial painting by Klee. Klee has made other artisticimpressions with his prowess as a modern artist2.
There is anotherimpressive creation in the 1922 twittering machine painting. Klee has used oiland canvas in most of his paintings andhas satisfactorily used the natural elements. Klee has succeeded in creatinga magical realm through the intertwining of aquatic, earthly and celestialelements. The painting is covered by a delicate black surface in the underlyingcolors, where the artists have revealedscrawling and scratching designs using the black paint. At the center of thepainting, there is a square of muslin which is stuckon the canvas. A long diagonal line crosses the top of the clock tower. Thediagonal line is poised to send away the subtle in the curtain. The Fish Magic is set squarely suing the background ofGerman romanticism.
It is a blend of natural empiricism and fantasy, as well asthe use of poetry and pragmatics. The painting was made during the middleperiod of the artists period in Bauhaus using a mix of aquatic, celestial andearthly elements3.It is done in a dark environment of indeterminate scale and scope, with thefish and flora floating amongst the clock towers and the human beings.
Klee cleared and sanded the black paint as an illustrationof the black paint, which show mysterious specks and the bright colors of thepassages underneath. He has used a rare version of the games which childrenplay using the wax crayons. The artist has also developed a device ingeniously,which is used to show there is are more unique ways, which need to be unveiled.The fish magic is a collage with uniquewith a square of muslin stuck on the top of the of the surface with biggerrectangular canvas. The long diagonal line touches the top of the clock towerusing the side as it appears poised to send away the subtle of the curtain. Forthe artist, art is always considered a theatre, just like any of his paintings,one which gives a promise of the acts to be followed. Fish Magic belongs to a class of landscape in the production series by Klee among them BotanicalTheatre.
The vast majority of these works leave a spectrum of creativity and have been surmounted by the sky. TheFish Magic draws the curtain on theindeterminate space in which a fish swims while the plants grow in the presenceof the people and the planet4. The curtain and the clownframe the scene on the upper side and the lower left, which in appearance isnot part of reality. Instead, the author has revealed it to the audience, inthe crystalline perspective with the face of the clown and a peering edge ofthe picture which appear to be callingfor attention. With a couple of exceptionsand other inhabitants, Klee’s work is easily identifiable, due to itsproperties. A vigorous blue daisy with three fish is the main property, whichcan be used to identify the painting for any person who has a clue of what itentails. In the right corner, there is an hourly vase of daisies while the lefthas a gesticulating figure containing two profile gazes on either of the sidesof the picture. A continuation on either of the encounters is a saplingconifer, a tall scape, which is attached to the wire trap, and an hourglass,which holds there a glowing red disk.
Above this,there are three more fish. In the celestial body, there are hovers close to thecurtain edge, while on the upper left, there is a brightly colored circle inyellow, which floats nestled in a powdery blue crescent.On various occasions, the objects in Klee’s painting overlapthe boundaries of the patch of the fabric added to the picture, which gives thepicture a uniqueness of the design, as seen by the viewer. Hence, the wire trapis suspended within the patch and supports the rod placed on the edge. The fishis ignorant of the boundary, which is placed between the two zones, as it swimsfreely in and out of the central patch as the plants grow from the roots. Thecurtain-edge is reflected on the upper corner of the image, with the lower lefthaving a patch that bisects the hourglass,as though it is an inverted cone due to the image of the mirror below it.
Theseam between the two pieces of fabric bisects the head of the gesticulatingfigure through the normal eyes but once again, it shows the reflected image.The reflecting mirror is gazes from themid-point of the picture as it presents a clear mistakable transformation ofthe image. The Fish Magic gives insights into the creative methods andobjectives of Klee’s method of art andstands as a warning to the painters who were trying to interpret his imagery.The distinctive rhythmic articulation defines Klee’s style in art5. The dark backgrounds inthe picture establish a grave with occasional sinister, and mood from thebeginning as the glowing form appears to be bringing forth the deepest regionsin Klee’s subconsciousness. The picture brings elusive dream and the power of arevelation, as the interpretation of thework is grounded on relationships and identity from the pictorial elementsinstead of using a structural manipulation. Klee has raised the Fish Magic curtain up with waterunderneath superficially. It is worth noting that after the equivocalunderwater scene preceding as shown in the Hamburg Goldfish catalog.
Other similar works during that timeinclude the Aquarium with Silvery Blue Fishes produced in 1924 as well as theFish Picture produced in 1925. However, the Fish Magic differs from them due tothe use of elements, which are not found underwater. Above all, the doubleprofile figure, the church steeple and also the planetary bodies in thepicture. The last of the furnishes in Paul Klee’s Fish Magic is morecomplicated due to the theme of personal nature, which was one of Klee’spreferences and used in most of his artistic works. The paintings, which arenestled at the center with a yellow disc of the clock face and gives acompositional focus as a large and regular circle in the several circles in thedesign.
It is impossible to desist from comparing the celestial bodies on theupper left in relation to the group of images, which was one of the favoriterecurrent preoccupations and motifs by Klee. The main difference between thecosmic and earthly time is the finite time and in the infinite time. This is acomparison similar to the sun and the moon and the clock as they are repetitivein the first picture by Klee in the first divisionism picture, namely Sunset,produced in 19306.The interminable rotation of day and night is seen under the human presence.
Inthe contrary, the featureless face has an eye and a tear similar to the arm ofa clock. Though this is a poignant conflation of the images missing from theFish Magic, the meaning has little attributes. Four numerals in the clock arepainted in red and shine with a white andyellow face as in general. The unusual digits are 1, 2, 5 and 9, rather than 3,6, 9 and 12 which are rearranged to record the date of the picture, 1925. The message of the clock will help to illustrate the wiretrap, where it is placed. Historically this system is seen as a fishing netwhose threads make the outline of the belfry.
Max Huggler has made a comparisonof the general theme of the picture to the Time of the Plants produced in 1927.He, however, notes that the wire basketand the clock are an illustration of the ‘die Zeit der Fische’ which is the presumable remaining time before the fish iscaught. Klee has considered this topic as a drawing, Calling the Fish of 1919and another one. They are Biting found in the Tate gallery dating from 1920.The interpretation of Huggler is quite reasonable in case one accepts FishMagic as an underwater scene. This is because it does not account for theimprobable motif of the captive church steeple.
It appears to be have come froma deeper level of creativity and thinking by Klee, in the development of theFish Magic. On a corresponding deeper interpretative level, the trapbelongs to the reality of the underwater habitat, though the cosmic theme ofKlee’s picture is the subjection of all life applicable to the duration rule.In the contrary, the free-floatingplanetary bodies with the rhythmic rhythms of the universe are bound by asteeple and clock which are made to be obeyed by man. In absence of the trap,the clock on a church steeple is a traceable motif in the entire career of Klee7. From the start of 1883and 1884, which was the time the artist’s career was four to five years old,the dates of a drawing, the church, the Clock with contrived numbers was made.Though it is connected to a particular building, the main concern is that theclocks are closely linked with Klee’s origin, Swiss as well as the earlyimpressions, which are familiar with the Berne, the clock tower. These weresome of the initial impressions which were familiar to the Kramgasse8. However, both were moreimportant and prophetic than the young Klee’s interest in hiding a crypticmessage in the clock face.
It is quite indecipherable though the viewer conceptualizes the personal message on the clockwith Magic Fish, as it makes the disclosure.The Philadelphia picture in more than forty years, Klee had discovered that aclock might be used to tell something more than the time of the day, which is amedium of art.The deeply rootedimage remained with Klee up to the watercolorpicture, Heavenly and Earthly Time. It appears as one of his bitter-sweetsentiments of the picture.
The more ambitious Fish Magic appeared two yearsearlier, with the design focusing more on the clock, steeple, and a church, while either sideof these floats in the weak armature of the townscape, which is scarcely less intricate than the paintings on the clock9.The entire construction is gently suspended on from a single wire of heaven andis softly balanced on the complementary motions on the earth, with heavenlypulleys. The initial dark, small, solid and fixed to the clock picture helps tomeasure the time and record the elapsed hours, with larger and lighter swings which did not initially have anyrecordings.Following theliving habitats of the Fish Magic, it could be noted that the fish which gavethe picture the title is familiar with Klee’s motif of art in 1920’s when theyare a subject of more than a dozen major works. The characteristic of the fish,unlike several of his other companions in his daily life, got into his art through different levels. In specific works,for instance, the Aquarium with SilveryBlue Fishes or the Fish in Circle are content to themselves. In others, Aroundthe Fish and the Fish Magic appear almost inadvertent and have a symbolicmeaning of the artist in the course of developing one picture.
Klee was notalways aware of the change in his emphasis as illustrated in the two slimpieces of evidence on the genesis of Fish Magic. 1 Verdi, Richard. “Paul Klee’s’ Fish Magic’: AnInterpretation.” The Burlington Magazine 1162Klee, Paul. The Diaries of Paul Klee,1898-1918.
Univ of California Press, 1968.3Lanchner, Carolyn, ed. Paul Klee, HisLife and Work. Hatje Cantz Pub, 2001. 4 Verdi, Richard. “Paul Klee’s’ Fish Magic’: AnInterpretation.
” The Burlington Magazine 1165Bauschatz, Paul. “Paul Klee’s speakingpictures.” Word & Image 7, no. 2 (1991): 148-164.
6Lanchner, Carolyn, ed. Paul Klee, HisLife and Work. Hatje Cantz Pub, 2001. 7Klee, Paul. The Diaries of Paul Klee,1898-1918. Univ of California Press, 1968.8Klee, Paul. Creative Confession-PaulKlee.
Vol. 5. Tate Enterprises Ltd, 2013.9Raczka, Bob.
No one saw: Ordinarythings through the eyes of an artist. Millbrook Press, 2002.