Bear and Elf; plate I from Intermezzi, Opus IV by Max Klinger

Bear and Elf; plate I from Intermezzi, Opus IV by Max Klinger

Bear and Elf; plate I from Intermezzi, Opus IV

Max Klinger

Title

Bear and Elf; plate I from Intermezzi, Opus IV

 
Artist

Max Klinger

  1857 - 1920 (biography)
Year
1880  
Technique
etching with aquatint and roulette printed chine colle 
Image Size
15 5/8 x 9" image and paper 
Signature
signed on the plate 'Max Klinger' in lower left 
Edition Size
not available 
Annotations
dated 1880 in the plate in the lower left; numbered 'I' in the lower right, below image. 
Reference
Singer 52 
Paper
thin "chiné" paper supported on an antique-white wove 
State
published 
Publisher
Theodor Stroefer, Nuremberg, 1881 
Inventory ID
10197 
Price
SOLD
Description

For plate 1 of the 'Intermezzi' Klinger depicts a somewhat surrealist composition, a large bear, wedged onto a couple of branches, high in a tree. On a branch above an 'elf' reaches down, teasing the lumbering bear with a stick.

An admirer of Puvis du Chavannes, Goya, and Daumier, Klinger did much of his printmaking as 'series', portfolios done as 14 major cycles, comprised of 265 plates. Based on personal observations of what underlies daily life: love, death, poverty, sex, obsession, and violence he tackled predominant social and political issues on the one hand, while giving shape to fantastic and sometimes terrifying dreamscapes on the other.

The 'Intermezzi' was a portfolio of 12 etchings and aquatints. Heather Hess wrote in the 'German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.' at MoMA: "The sea threatens to sweep away a young person. A fallen rider is trapped by his horse, and faces a lonely death, a victim of bad luck. Centaurs wage an epic battle, fighting over the meager reward of a tiny rabbit. A simple boy, Simplicius Simplicissimus, who found refuge with a hermit during the Thirty Years' War, must once again face the cruelty of the world after his benefactor's death.

Max Klinger's Intermezzi (Intermezzos) offers a diverse selection of amusements, like brief comedic interludes at the opera. Klinger dedicated the portfolio to engraver and art dealer Hermann Sagert, who had encouraged him to disseminate his work more broadly by making prints. It also honors the composer Robert Schumann, whose musical Intermezzi are opus four in his own career."