早年，跟随他的父母的愿望，克利致力于成为一个音乐家; 但他决定对视觉艺术在他的青少年时期，一方面出于叛逆和部分原因是认为现代音乐缺乏意味着他。他说，“我没有发现将在音乐创造性鉴于音乐成就历史上的下降特别有吸引力的想法。” 作为一个音乐家，他演奏了，觉得感情上绑定到传统作品十八和十九世纪，但作为一个艺术家，他渴望自由探索激进思想和风格。十六岁时，克利的景观图纸已经显示出相当的技巧。
1897年左右，开始克利他的日记中，他一直保持到1918年，并已提供学者有价值的洞察他的生活和思想。在他的学校里，他如饥似渴地画在他的教科书，尤其是绘画漫画，并已显示出与线和体积的技能。他勉强通过了他的期末考试在伯尔尼，他在资格的“无印良品” 人文。以他特有的机智干，他写道，“毕竟，这是相当难以实现精确的最小值，它涉及到的风险。” 在他自己的时间，除了他在音乐和艺术有浓厚的兴趣，克利是文学的一个伟大的读者，后来就一个作家的艺术理论和美学。
接受他的美术学位后，克利前往意大利从1901年十月至五月1902年与朋友赫尔曼·哈勒。他们住在罗马，佛罗伦萨和那不勒斯，并研究了过去几个世纪的绘画大师。他感叹道，“该论坛和梵蒂冈都对我说过，人本想闷死我了。” 他回答到意大利的颜色，但可悲的是指出，“一个长期的斗争在于商店我的色彩这个领域。” 对于克利，颜色所代表的乐观和艺术贵族，并从悲观的性质，他在他的黑色和白色畸人和讽刺表达了救济的希望。返回伯尔尼，他与他的父母好几年了，并把偶尔的艺术课。到1905年，他开发一些实验技术，包括在玻璃上的熏黑面板针绘图，造成57作品，包括他的肖像我父（1906）。在几年1903-5他也完成了十一锌板循环蚀刻叫发明，他的第一次展出的作品中，他表示一些怪诞的人物。 他说：“虽然我很满意我的版画，我不能再这样下去了，我不是专家。” 克利还在除以他的时间与音乐，演奏小提琴的管弦乐团和写作音乐会和戏剧评论。
Paul Chris was born in Switzerland, Germany plug Bu Ming Xing, as music teacher Hans William Chris (1849 to 1940) and the Swiss singer Mary Adakli, nee Flicker (1855 to 1921) of the second children. [A] his sister Mathilde (6 died in December 1953) was born in Walzenhausen in January 28, 1876. Their father came from studying at the Stuttgart School of music with singing, piano, electronic piano and violin, and meeting his future wife Ida Flick. Hans William Chris is active in the near Bern school music teacher Hofwil Bern, until 1931 was able to develop his musical skills, his parents encouraged him until he died.  in 1880, his family moved to Bern, many of the changes they live there as a house area Kirchenfeld moved after 17 years.  from 1886 to 1890, he visited in the primary school and receiving, at the age of 7, violin class music school. He is 11 years old, he was invited to play a member of Berne Music Association's extraordinary violin very much. 
In his early years, his parents' wishes, Clifford is committed to becoming a musician; but he decided to visual art in his teens, partly out of rebellion and part of the reason is that the lack of modern music means he. He said, "I did not find a particularly attractive idea in terms of musical creativity in view of the decline in the history of musical achievement."  as a musician, he played and felt emotionally bound to the traditional works of eighteen and nineteenth Century, but as an artist, he was eager to explore free radical ideas and styles.  at the age of sixteen, his landscape drawings have shown considerable skill. 
Around 1897, Clifford began his diary, he continued until 1918, and has provided scholars valuable insight into his life and thought.  in his school, he painted like hunger and thirst to in his textbook, especially painting cartoon, and has been shown to line and volume of skills.  he barely passed his final exam in Bern, his qualifications in the "Muji" humanities. With his unique wit, he wrote, "after all, it is quite difficult to achieve the exact minimum, which involves the risk of."  in his own time, but he has a strong interest in music and art, Klee is a great reader of literature, then a writer's theory of art and aesthetics. 
And his parents do not agree, starting in Munich and Heinrich Knirr was stuck and Frantz Feng in learning the art of Academy of Fine Arts in 1898. He is good at painting, but he doesn't seem to have any natural sense of color. In the third winter, I realized that I could never learn to draw."  in the youth age of adventure, he spent a lot of time having an affair with lower class women and artists in bars and cars. He died a few weeks after the birth of an illegitimate child in 1900. 
Accept his art degree, from October 1901 to May Clifford to Italy 1902  and friend of Herman Hale. They lived in Rome, Florence and Naples, and studied painting masters over the centuries.  he exclaimed, "the forum and the Vatican are said to me, who wanted to kill me."  he replied to the color of Italy, but sadly pointed out, "a long struggle lies in the store of my color in this field."  for Klee, colour represents optimism and pessimism and noble art, from nature, in his black and white grotesques and satire expressed hope of relief.  returned to Bern, he and his parents for several years, and the occasional art classes. In 1905, he developed some experimental techniques, including the black panel drawing on the glass needle, resulting in 57 works, including his portrait of my father (1906).  in a few years 1903-5 he also completed the eleven zinc plate circular etching called invention, the first exhibition of his works, he said some strange characters.   he said: "although I am satisfied with my prints, I can't go on like this anymore, I'm not an expert."  was still divided by his time with the music, the violin Orchestra Concert and writing and drama criticism.