Kamelreiter in der Wüste
© SKD, Foto: Elke Estel/ Hans-Peter Klut

To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee

Over the centuries, Egypt has been a source of inspiration to many artists, including Max Slevogt (1868–1932) and Paul Klee (1879–1940). Their intense examination of the country and its culture going back millennia inspired both artists to create impressive pictures, now placed alongside one another for the first time.

  • DATES 30/04/2014—10/08/2014


In 1914, Max Slevogt went on a meticulously planned journey from Cairo to Aswan,  working on what he saw as he went along in an absolute ecstasy of creativity. The series of oil paintings which he painted on this trip has gone down in art history as the “Apotheosis of Light”; most of them – 17 paintings – are today owned by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. This treasure trove of works is rounded off by selected loans, along with large numbers of sketches made during the journey. This means that the exhibition includes all available oil paintings from Slevogt's unique Egypt series, plus roughly another 40 works created in the same context.

abstraktes Bild mit farbigen Rechtecken
© Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Paul Klee, Stufen, 1929


Paul Klee visited the country on the Nile over the 1928/29 New Year period. Initially overwhelmed by the sheer number and strangeness of the impressions this left, he gradually had important flashes of inspiration which would lead to a key shift in his later works. With some 80 pieces from every creative stage the artist went through, the exhibition sheds light on the increasing intensity with which he studied the topic of the Orient and Egypt, leading up to his adaptations of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in his striking later style. Private lenders and renowned museums from Germany and abroad have supported the project by providing works from their collections.

Bild mit zwei verschleierten Frauen in der Wüste
Max Slevogt, Sudanesische Frauen, 1914 Öl auf Leinwand, 54,5 x 74,5 cm

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To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee
To Egypt! The Travels of Max Slevogt and Paul Klee


With 150 exhibits including selected examples of Ancient Egyptian art, touchscreen applications and video boxes showing historical photographs, the exhibition takes visitors on a quick tour of this corner of art history, giving a direct impression of the journeys undertaken by these two artists.

Research Project
The research project concentrates on the way Egyptian impressions and influences impinged upon and were adapted by German painters from the first half of the 20th century. The project examines in detail the trips to Egypt made by the impressionist painter Max Slevogt (1914) and the Bauhaus artist Paul Klee (1928/29). The way in which the paintings address the country’s landscape, art and culture are of particular interest; the development of the artists' diverse styles as a result of the Egyptian impressions they gained is contemplated and analyzed. The results are documented in short films.


Die Publikation zur Sonderausstellung

Max Slevogt. Die Reise nach Ägypten

Die Sonderausstellung "Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee" im Albertinum (29 €, ISBN 978-3-95498-080-2)

Die Publikation zur Sonderausstellung

Paul Klee. Die Reise nach Ägypten 1928/29

Die Sonderausstellung "Nach Ägypten! Die Reisen von Max Slevogt und Paul Klee" im Albertinum (29 €, ISBN 978-3-95498-081-9)


in cooperation with: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

main sponsor: Finanzgruppe

supported by: Gerda Henkel Stiftung; Rudolf-August Oetker Stiftung; schweizer kulturstiftung prohelvetia

weitere Ausstellungen

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19.10.2017 —14.01.2018

Marlene Dumas. Skulls

im Albertinum

Collage aus verschiedenen, gemalten Totenköpfen
10.02.2017 —28.05.2017

Beneath Italian Skies

im Albertinum

das Kollosseum in Rom
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