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.