PRINT May 1987


THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE, Paul Klee painted and drew angels, of every conceivable description. Some are playful, derived, say, from the metaphors of everyday language; others are esoteric, and rooted in Klee’s personal metaphysics. The lithograph Ein Genius serviert ein kleines Frühstück (An angel serves a small breakfast, 1920) is of the first kind. Here, the merely metaphoric use of the angel concept is obvious: a friendly nurse in a hospital might well be called an angel, or an efficient woman handling room service in a hotel. In fact, the figure’s headgear resembles a nurse’s cap. Her eagerness is expressed by her running step and by the tea spilling out of the pot she carries on a tray. Curved lines crossed by slight indications of Cubist scaffolding suggest her swift, light-footed motion. Also in Cubist fashion, the door through which she enters is rendered by two arches, which intersect

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