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Das Lamm (1920): A translucent image by Paul Klee

March 26, 2014

“Lambeth! the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife loveth thee;
Thou art one with her, and knowest not of Self in thy supreme joy.
Go on, Builders in hope! tho’ Jerusalem wanders far away
Without the Gate of Los, among the dark Satanic wheels.”

Image

I was completely unaware of this wonderful picture by Paul Klee until today (retrieved from here). I thank whoever it was who – indirectly – suggested I look for it. Resonating with the subject of my last post, through Klee’s image seems to radiate the same translucence perceived in many illuminated plates of William Blake’s prophetic books; a quality compared to looking at stained glass.

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I wonder whether Klee may have painted The Lamb – with its sacrificial, religious overtones – mindful of the mass slaughter of the Great War.  Blake, too, composed his illuminated epic Jerusalem, with the depredations of a cruel war machine in mind:

Why should punishment Weave the Veil with Iron Wheels of War

When Forgiveness might it Weave with Wings of Cherubim

(J 22:35)

jerusalem.e.p9.300

 

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