The Easel

How Klee’s ‘angel of history’ took flight

Centre Pompidou’s retrospective of Paul Klee’s work is boasting a coup – his rarely seen masterpiece, Angelus Novus. This drawing was purchased at Klee’s first exhibition and has had a sequence of illustrious owners. “His head is topped by a mess of curls… and his jug ears stick so far out from his cylindrical face that they’re almost flush with his jiggly eyes… [A] fearsome but fragile seraph: afloat, aghast, going who knows where.”