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Cover of the Cycle “On Death. Series of Ten Works Composed and Etched by Max Klinger”, 1897

Leopold Museum,
Print on paper
61.1×45.5 cm


  • Max Klinger

    (Leipzig 1857–1920 Großjena)

  • Giesecke & Devrient Leipzig

    (founded in 1852)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
The German sculptor, painter and graphic artist Max Klinger (1857–1920) created this portfolio titled On Death, here presented in the third edition from 1897. Klinger attended the Großherzoglich Badische Kunstschule in Karlsruhe and the Royal Academy of the Arts in Berlin. The symbolist artist explored the topic of death quite frequently, but rarely as explicitly as in this series of ten aquatinta etchings with depictions of death that follow the tradition of the medieval Danse Macabre. The connecting underlying thought is that death can catch up with us unexpectedly at any time. The first edition of this portfolio was published in Rome in 1889. Klinger etched the sixth work in the portfolio, Herod, as early as 1879 but did not begin working on the other sheets before 1882. Klinger’s cycles of graphic works bear the Latin description Opus in addition to their titles, which is intended as a reference to musical compositions and hints at the genre-transcending character of his artistic work in the sense of a Gesamtkunstwerk (universal work of art).

Object data

  • Max Klinger
  • Giesecke & Devrient Leipzig
Cover of the Cycle “On Death. Series of Ten Works Composed and Etched by Max Klinger”
Art movement
Graphic work
Print on paper
61.1×45.5 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6559 02
Inventory access
Accession 2020 2021

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Antiquariat Rainer Schlicht, Berlin (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 2021). (1)

  1. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Rechnung Nr. 8791 vom 27.02.2021

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