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An abstract drawing with painted black lines and pastel colored shapes.

Thin bold lines float on a pale rose background. Some lines intersect with others to enclose rectangular or curved shapes, which are colored in shades of blue or pale green chalk pastel. They appear on a vertical rectangle of burlap which lends its rough texture to the background, and its frayed edges form a thin border around the piece.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Paul Klee, Swiss (Münchenbuchsee near Bern, Switzerland 1879 - 1940 Muralto-Locarno, Switzerland)
Slightly Dry Poem
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Leicht Trockenes Gedicht
Work Type
drawing, album leaf
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil and pastel on burlap, mounted on card
burlap, irregular: 58.5 x 45 cm (23 1/16 x 17 11/16 in.)
mount: 68.9 x 50 cm (27 1/8 x 19 11/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Titled, numbered and dated on mount in ink: 1938. T12 leicht trockenes Gedicht
  • (not assigned): Inscription on verso, u.l., in artist's hand: 1938T21 leicht trockenes Gedicht
    On backing board: 15 loan labels for temporary loan to the Fogg Art Museum, 1 loan label for temporary loan to Busch-Reisinger Museum (130.1966)
  • label: removed from backing board: Busch-Reisinger Museum / Cambridge, Mass. / Loan no. 130.1966 / Lender Mr. & Mrs. F. B. Deknatel / Cambridge, Mass
  • label: removed from backing board: Hasenkamp / Koln - Bonn - Dusseldorf / Leicht trockenes Gedicht / 60 x 46 cm / Kunstler: P. Klee / Frankreich / Leihgeber: Berggruen & CIE
  • label: removed from backing board: International Art Transport / 60, Rue Saint-Sabin Paris XIe / ROQuette: 69-92 / 1620 / Los Angeles
  • label: removed from backing board: 16 Fogg Art Museum Deknatel loan labels with the following numbers: 18714.7, 20553.12, 18296.1, 17586.11, 16967.7, 16259.5, 15740.6, 40710.1, 28427.4, 25539.4, 24051.7, 21518.3, 22157.1, 27146.4, 22712.1, 24807.3


Recorded Ownership History
Rolf and Catherine E. Buergi, Bern
Max Huggeler, Bern (until 1963)
Berggruen & Cie (1963-1965)
Professor and Mrs. Frederick B. Deknatel (acq. 1965)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Bequest of Virginia H. Deknatel in memory of Professor and Mrs. Charles Kuhn
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Paul Klee, Josef Helfenstein, and Christian Rümelin, Paul Klee, catalogue raisonné, Paul-Klee Stiftung Kunstmuseum Bern (Bern, Switzerland, 1998-2004), vol. 7, p. 458, cat. no. 7514

Exhibition History

  • Paul Klee, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/17/1993 - 06/13/1993
  • HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 10 Rotation 3), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/12/2010 - 01/15/2011
  • 32Q: 1520 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Interwar and Bauhaus), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/06/2015 - 07/07/2015

Subjects and Contexts

  • The Bauhaus
  • Collection Highlights

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at