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Klinger, Max

KLINGER, MAX (1857- ), German painter, etcher and sculptor, was born at Plagwitz near Leipzig. He attended the classes at the Carlsruhe art school in 1874, and went in the following year to Berlin, where in 1878 he created a sensation at the Academy exhibition with two series of pen-and-ink drawings the " Series upon the Theme of Christ " and " Fantasies upon the Finding of a Glove." The daring originality of these imaginative and eccentric works caused an outburst of indignation, and the artist was voted insane; nevertheless the "Glove" series was bought by the Berlin National Gallery. His painting of " The Judgment of Paris " caused a similar storm of indignant protest in 1887, owing to its rejection of all conventional attributes and the naive directness of the conception. His vivid and somewhat morbid imagination, with its leaning towards the gruesome and disagreeable, and the Goyaesque turn of his mind, found their best expression in his "cycles" of etchings: "Deliverances of Sacrificial Victims told in Ovid," " A Brahms Phantasy," " Eve and the Future," " A Life," and " Of Death "; but in his use of the needle he does not aim at the technical excellence of the great masters; it supplies him merely with means of expressing his ideas. After 1886 Klinger devoted himself more exclusively to painting and sculpture. In his painting he aims neither at classic beauty nor modern truth, but at grim impressiveness not without a touch of mysticism. His " Pieta" at the Dresden Gallery, the frescoes at the Leipzig University, and the " Christ in Olympus," at the Modern Gallery in Vienna, are characteristic examples of his art. The Leipzig Museum contains his sculptured " Salome " and " Cassandra." In sculpture he favours the use of varicoloured materials in the manner of the Greek chryselephantine sculpture. His "Beethoven" is a notable instance of his work in this direction.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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