About this artwork
In the Magic Mirror reflects the disillusionment that colored much of Paul Klee’s work following the Nazi takeover of Germany in 1933 and the artist’s subsequent move to his native Switzerland.
Illustrating what Klee called his method of “taking a line for a walk,” a meandering red line twists and turns down the center of the canvas, delineating the features of a face. The tight curves on the brow suggest the figure is concentrating, while the tension between the nose and mouth, which pull in opposite directions, conveys anxiety. In contrast to the cheerful pink cheeks, the figure’s tear-shaped eyes communicate distress. The thinly painted, ghostly outline of the head and shoulders is in contrast to the crisp rendering of the face. Klee paints the heart, the true creative center, black, thereby suggesting the pall that settled over this figure, and by extension, the artist at this time.
- Currently Off View
- Modern Art
- Paul Klee
- In the Magic Mirror
- Germany (Artist's nationality)
- Oil on canvas, on board
- 66 × 50 cm (26 × 19 3/4 in.)
- Bequest of Claire Zeisler
- © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn