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Max Klinger

Born: Leipzig, 18 February 1857
Died: Grossjena, near Naumburg, 4 July 1920
Nationality: German

with Karl Gussow at the Karlsruhe and Berlin academies; with Symbolist painter Emile Wauters in Brussels


1879 – produces print cycle Salvation of Ovid’s Victims

1880 - produces print cycles Eve and the Future and Intermezzi

1881 - completes print cycle A Glove

1883 - receives commission to decorate Villa Albers in Berlin; produces the print cycles A Life and Dramas

1889 – produces print cycle Of Death, Part I

1891 – publishes essay "Painting and Drawing"; joins Academy of Fine Arts, Munich

1892 – joins the Gruppe XI

1893 – Klinger’s studio becomes center of Leipzig cultural life

1894 – produces print cycle Brahms Fantasy; joins Academy of Art, Berlin

1897 – appointed Professor of the Academy of Graphic Art in Leipzig; becomes corresponding member of Vienna Secession

1902 – exhibits Beethoven at Vienna Secession

1903 - Vice-President of the German Artists' Guild

1909 – produces print cycle Of Death, Part II



Paris (1883; 1885-6); Rome (1888-93); Florence (1905)

Important Artworks: 

Judgment of Paris, 1885-87 (painting, Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna)

The Blue Hour, 1890 (Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig)

New Salome, 1893 (sculpture, Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig)



Max Klinger was important and influential as a printmaker, as Marsha Morton observes in describing her book:

"His modernism and his legacy to future movements such as Expressionism, Surrealism, and Neue Sachlichkeit, will be shown to reside in this themes of social criticism; his engagement with psychological man and the subjective self; his strategies of irony and parody with regard to human behavior and aesthetic tradition; and his formulation of destabilizing situations that convey anxiety, alienation, and ambiguity."

Marsha Morton, Max Klinger and Wilhelmine Culture: On the Threshold of German Modernism (Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2014), 2.