Paul Klee was born near Berne, Switzerland, in 1879. As the son of a music teacher, he was encouraged to pursue a career as a violinist. Against his family's wishes he decided to pursue a career in art, and attended the Academy of Fine Art, Munich from 1898 to 1901. After completing his studies, Klee travelled to Italy where he began studying classical architecture, sculpture and the frescoes of Pompeii. He later returned to Berne where he explored a wide range of styles, techniques and media. Klee drew inspiration for his paintings from music, literature and nature. In 1911, Klee became closely associated with Kandinsky and other members of the avant-garde group of German Expressionists, Der Blaue Reiter. He was invited to join their ranks and in 1912, participated in their exhibition. Klee began teaching at the Bauhaus where Kandinsky was a faculty member. In 1933 he was forced to resign his position by the Nazi regime, which labelled his work ""degenerate art"" and removed his paintings from German galleries. Klee returned to Berne where he developed a disease (scleredema), which caused his death. Klee produced an estimated 8,000 works during his lifetime. Regarded as one of the major theoreticians of Abstract art, he had a profound impact on the development of Contemporary art.
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