Paul Klee. Der Held mit dem Flügel (The Hero with the Wing) from the series Inventions (Inventionen). 1905

Paul Klee

Der Held mit dem Flügel (The Hero with the Wing) from the series Inventions (Inventionen)


Etching and drypoint
plate: 10 x 6 1/4" (25.4 x 15.9 cm); sheet: 16 x 12 1/16" (40.7 x 30.7 cm)
the artist, Bern
Max Girardet, Bern
approx. 30
Object number
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Paul Klee has 144 works online.
There are 20,217 prints online.

This etching depicts a man who was born with one wing. In his incessant attempts to fly, he has broken his other limbs—a fact elucidated in writing next to the figure. With his solemn, statuesque pose and asymmetrical, ruined state—replete with a sprouting tree trunk for a leg—the figure is tragicomic. This work was executed during the flight craze of the early twentieth–century, two years after the Wright brothers' successful flight in 1903. Klee looked upon man's desire to fly with skeptical sarcasm, yet, in terms of his ideas, the identified himself as "a flying Man."

Gallery label from 2006

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
J.B. Neumann, New York; to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1942

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