TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT May 1987

KLEE’S ARRAY OF ANGELS

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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