Indiana University Indiana University IU

Browse the collection

With Two Dromedaries and 1 Donkey

Artist Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879–1940)
Title With Two Dromedaries and 1 Donkey (Mit zwei Dromedaren und 1 Esel)
Date 1914–1919
Medium Watercolor, gouache, and and graphite on yellow-toned paper
Dimensions Image: 9 9/16 × 8 7/16 in. (24.3 × 21.4 cm)
Sheet: 9 9/16 × 8 7/16 in. (24.3 × 21.4 cm)
Mount: 12 1/8 × 9 3/8 in. (30.8 × 23.8 cm)
Framed: 21 1/8 × 17 1/8 × 1 in. (53.7 × 43.5 × 2.5 cm)
Credit Line Bernhard and Cola Heiden Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2000.141

Share this artwork!

About this Work

A turning point in Paul Klee’s art occurred in 1914, when he spent two weeks in Tunisia. The watercolors made during this trip synthesized his earlier efforts to be both naturalistic and abstract, to unite “outer” observation with the “inner” pictorial logic of Cubist design. The color and geometry of these Tunisian watercolors, suggestive of indigenous textiles, would shape his work for years to come. Klee’s original title for this subject was Entry into the Orient—perhaps reflective of his own arrival in Kairouan or the domed architecture in the background. When he reworked the sketch in 1919, he gave it the present title, thereby drawing attention to the tiny animal caravan backlit by the glow of a toned paper that suggests the heat of North Africa.

2000, Bequest to the Indiana University Art Museum from Bernhard Heiden, Bloomington, IN

1963–2000, Collection of Bernhard Heiden (1910–2000) and Cola Heiden (1910–1999), Bloomington, IN (by descent from Martha Heiden) [1]

1919–1963, Collection of Ernst Levi (1865–1941) and Martha Heiden (1878–1963), New Rochelle, NY; formerly of Frankfurt, Germany (purchase from Zinglers Kabinett für Kunst- und Bücherfreunde) [3]

1919, Peter Zingler of Zinglers Kabinett für Kunst- und Bücherfreunde, Frankfurt (purchase from the artist Paul Klee in May of 1919) [4]

before May 1919, Possession of the artist


[1] Bernhard Heiden (né Levi) and his wife Cola (née de Joncheere) Heiden emigrated to the United States in 1935 to escape persecution as Jews under the Third Reich. They ultimately settled in Bloomington in 1946, where Bernhard was a member of the music school faculty until his retirement in 1981. The Heidens inherited much of their art collection, including the Klee watercolor, from Bernhard’s parents, who followed them to the United States four years later (museum donor files).

[2] Ernst Levi was a magistrate for the city of Frankfurt am Main, where he lived with wife Martha (née Heidenheimer), a violinist, until their emigration to the United States. Among Levi’s councilman duties was the supervision of social welfare programs for Frankfurt artists. Levi came to be on friendly terms with many of them, including Beckmann, and through these various contacts was able to assemble a collection of contemporary German art. Ernst and Martha fled Germany in 1939, sailing from the port of Bremen after a brief detainment by Nazi officials. Whether they had works from their collection in their possession when they left, or sent for them later, is unresolved. The entire collection appears to have reached the United States intact (Bernhard Heiden in conversation with Kathleen Foster, former Indiana University Art Museum curator of Western art after 1800, on November 15, 1999; transcript in curatorial files).

[3] Levi purchased the watercolor for 75 Reichsmarks from Zingler during Klee’s first-ever Frankfurt exhibition at Zingler’s Kabinett (Per Josef Helfenstein, Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 3. London: Thames & Hudson, 1998. Cat. No. 2085, p. 47).

[4] As noted above in Helfenstein, who cites Klee’s handwritten oeuvre catalogue as the source.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

March 14–June 22, 2014, "The Journey to Tunisia. Klee, Macke, Moilliet," Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland

October 6–December 23, 2012, "Pioneers and Exiles: German Expressionism at the Indiana University Art Museum," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

September 17–December 10, 2000, "A Legacy of German Expressionism: Gifts from Bernhard and Cola Heiden," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

November 13–December 21, 1979, "Paul Klee Centennial," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

April 11–June 2, 1979, "Paul Klee. Das Werk der Jahre 1919-1933. Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik," Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany

October 23–December 3, 1977, "German and Austrian Expressionism," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

May 11–June 15, 1974, "18th-20th Century Drawings from Bloomington Collections," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

October 9–November 2, 1940, "Paul Klee," Buchholz Gallery and Willard Gallery, New York, NY (lent by Levi-Heiden family), (no. 52)

May 1919, "Paul Klee, Fritz Schaefler, Th. C. Pilartz," Zinglers Kabinett für Kunst- und Bücherfreunde, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, (no. 10) [1]


[1] Zingler’s Kabinett sold art and books and maintained a programmatic focus on contemporary German art and literature. Klee’s work was featured at its inaugural exhibition in 1919, together with that of printmaker Fritz Schaefler and sculptor Theodor C. Pilartz. An illustrated catalogue was also published to commemorate the opening, in which was republished a short 1918 essay on Klee by Theodor Däubler. Although our Klee painting is not among those reproduced, it is listed in the cataolog for sale for 500 marks—considerably more than Levi paid for it.

Viewing Information
This artwork is currently on view.


Request this Image
The Eskenazi Museum of Art provides images of its collection, free of charge, upon request. This artwork is under copyright protection. You can request the image and it will be emailed to you when the request is complete.

Cite this Page
"With Two Dromedaries and 1 Donkey | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.