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Born Feb. 18, 1857, in Leipzig; died July 4, 1920, in Grossjena, in the present-day German Democratic Republic. German painter, graphic artist, and sculptor.
In the series of etchings A Life (1881–84), Dramas (1883), A Love (1887), and Of Death (1889, 1898–1910), Klinger combines vivid portrayals of real life and its acute social problems with fantasy and tragic pessimism. It is in his paintings, however, that elements of art nouveau, pretentious mystical symbolism, and naturalism are most evident (for example, Christ on Olympus, 1897, Austrian Gallery of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Vienna). Klinger sought to revive polychromatic sculpture (for example, Beethoven; marble, plaster of paris, and bronze; 1886–1902; Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig).