Kornfeld records only two proof impression of this state: the first in the collection of the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, inscribed 1. Probedruck v schwarzen Stein; the second from the Bürgi Collection in the Kunstmuseum Bern, inscribed zweiter Probedruck vom schwarzen Stein. The present impression is the third and previously unrecorded proof.
For Klee the tight-rope walker symbolised an important aspect in his theory of art: the idea of equilibrium. In 1921, he stated in a lecture: The tight-rope walker with his pole [is a] symbol of the balance of forces. He holds the forces of gravity in the balance (weight and counterweight). He is a pair of scales. (J. Spiller, Paul Klee: The Thinking Eye, London, 1961)