Art e Dossier

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Art History

Max Klinger: biography

Max Klinger was born in Leipzig on 18 February. After attending the Burgerschule and the Realschule in Leipzig, in 1874 he enrolled at the Kunstschule in Karlsruhe, but a year later he moved to Berlin to work under Gussow. At the Berlin Academy show in 1878, he exhibited Strollers, the Consigli per un concorso sul tema ‘Cristo’ and the preparatory drawings for a series of etchings entitled A Glove, which were greatly appreciated by the critics. In 1879, he was in Brussels as a student of Emile-Charles Wauters, and between then and 1883 he produced many series of etchings: Schizzi all’acquaforte, Salvation of Ovid’s Victims, Eve and the Future, Intermezzi, Cupid and Psyche, A Glove, Dramas and Four Landscapes. After a period in Berlin (1881), he was commissioned to decorate Villa Albers in Steglitz (1883). He moved to Paris in 1885, where he stayed until 1886. In this period he alternated between painting and sculpture, preparing the plaster model for Beethoven and the first version of New Salome. In 1887, he spent time first in Berlin, where he met Böcklin, and then in Leipzig. The following year he decided to make a trip to Italy, going first to Rome, from where he went out on trips to Tivoli and the surrounding hills. He went to Naples, Paestum and Pompeii between 1889 and 1890. In 1891, during his second visit to the south, he decided to visit Sicily. After returning to Leipzig in 1893, he sculpted New Salome and exhibited the Crucifixion in Dresden. Following the success of his solo show in Leipzig in 1894, Klinger began travelling once again in Europe. First he went to Vienna, where he met Brahms and dedicated a work to him, the Brahms Fantasy, and then he moved on to Greece in search of marble for his statues. In 1897, he was appointed Professor at the Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig and became a corresponding member of the Viennese Secession. Work on the large-scale statue of Beethoven occupied Klinger for a number of years: after having chosen the marble, he began preparation on the fusion in bronze of the throne in 1900, which was completed in Paris the following year. At the beginning of the new century he devoted himself almost exclusively to sculpture; in 1903 he produced Diana Surprised by Actaeon and in 1909 he completed his monument to Brahms for Hamburg. In the same year he completed the second edition of On Death, followed by the final major graphic series entitled Tent, which was published in 1915. Klinger died on 14 July 1920 at Grossjena in the house that he had purchased in 1903.

The works