Using the canvas as a means to express his internal musicality, his adoration of playing the violin comes through in this painting. Within this seemingly simple black and blue painting lies a masterpiece.
The thick, black, zigzagging lines resemble the smooth movements of a bow moving back and forth across the strings. The circles and dashes throughout, while indecipherable, are reminiscent of reading musical notation.
Paul Klee's style was highly individual and was created not only by integrating various art movements such as Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Abstraction, and Surrealism, but also by his musicality and childlike imagination.
Working in isolation from his peers allowed Klee to be free and inventive with his techniques, interpreting various art trends his own way, without the influence of his fellow artists.
Working and creating with a wide variety of mediums, from watercolours, oils, ink, etchings, pastels, among a few others, Paul Klee was able to take these different media and translate the music within him onto the canvas for the world to see.
In his musical paintings such as Heroic Fiddling, Paul Klee translates musical compositions onto the canvas in a marriage of musical and visual art, effectively painting music.
Born on December 18, 1879, in Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland, Paul Klee was the second child of two musical parents. His mother, Swiss singer Ida Marie Klee, née Frick, and his German father, Hans Wilhelm Klee, was a music teacher.
From a young age, Klee's parents instilled in him a profound love of music. During his childhood, he learned to play the violin, and while he quickly displayed an extraordinary talent for the instrument, he eventually abandoned his musical aspirations, in spite of his parents' wishes, and gravitated toward the visual arts.
However, this transition into painting and drawing did not mean that Klee abandoned music.
Quite the contrary, in fact. His wife was the pianist Lily Stumpf, and Klee himself continued to play the violin and his love of music remained deeply important to his life and work until the time of his death in 1940.