Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Max Klinger

The Siren
oil on canvas
100 x 185 cm
Villa Romana, Florenz, Italy

Max Klinger (1857-1920) was a German painter, sculptor, engraver, and printmaker. He was born in Leipzig, Germany. He was one of the last great "artist princes" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

He is known for his use of symbol, fantasy, and dream imagery. His art of symbol, fantasy, and dreamlike situations belonged to the growing late 19th-century awareness of the subtleties of the mind. His visionary art has been linked with that of Arnold Bocklin; the expression of his vivid, frequently morbid imaginings. He is best known for a series of pen-and-ink drawings called Series upon the Theme of Christ and Fantasies upon the Finding of a Glove. In his painting he aimed at neither classic beauty nor modern truth but at an impressive grimness with overtones of mysticism. His leanings toward the gruesome and grotesque found further expression in his series of etchings inspired by the work of Francisco de Goya. In his use of the etching needle he achieved a unique form of expressiveness. His work had a deep influence on Edvard Munch, Max Ernst, and Giorgio de Chirico. His late work was primarily sculpture. Interested in materials and colour, he executed polychromed nudes possessing a distinctly eerie quality, as well as statues made of varicoloured materials in the manner of Greek chryselephantine sculpture.