Johann Adam Klein

Johann Adam Klein (Nov 24, 1792 – May 21, 1875) was a German painter and engraver. Klein was a typical painter of the Biedermeier. From an artistic point of view, his print graphics with more than 2,000 sheets, as well as his study sheets and watercolors, are to be rated higher than his oil paintings, which originated mainly from 1816 onwards. Both are portrayed in his models, the animal painters Wilhelm von Kobell and Johann Elias Ridinger as well as Dutch painters of the 17th century such as Karel Dujardin, Philips Wouwerman and Adriaen van de Velde. In his genre painting representations of animals and here especially horses. In their portrayal, Klein placed particular emphasis on the elaboration of the peculiarities of the different races. His print graphics were published by Frauenholz and Zehschen Buchhandlung in Nuremberg and other graphic artists.

Born in Nuremberg, Germany on 24 November 1792, Klein received lessons in drawing from Georg Christoph von Bemmel.

Already at the age of eight, Klein signed a painting by the painter Georg Christoph von Bemmel. In 1802 he visited the Nuremberg drawing school under Gustav Philipp Zwinger. In 1805 he became an apprentice in the studio of the copper technician Ambrosius Gabler, where he learned the technique of etching and etching. Gabler recognized Klein’s talent for the animal drawing and sent him to study plants for studying. With the recommendation of the Nuremberg artist Johann Friedrich Frauenholz, Klein went to Vienna in 1811, where he continued his education at the academy. Inspired by the Napoleonic wars, he painted and etched the soldiers of the war parties in their uniforms and with their baggage, their horses and carts.

His study was interrupted in 1815 for a study tour to Main, Rhine and Hungary. 1815 again in Nuremberg, he made a Rhine trip on behalf of Count Erwin von Schönborn. In 1816 he again went to Vienna with the friendly draftsman and eraser Johann Christoph Erhard, where he was supported by Prince Metternich, who sent him to Hungary to study the horse. He traveled through the Steyr Mountains and Lake Traun and Lake Hallstatt in September 1818.

In 1819 he received a grant by Prince Louis of Bavaria to visit Italy. He remained in that country until 1821 and then returned to Germany. In 1823 he married Karoline Wüst and stayed in Nuremberg until her death in 1837; After her death he moved to Munich and married 1839 with the widow of the Kupferstechers Wolf.

He painted a number of battle scenes which made him celebrated throughout Germany. Klein excelled as a painter of horses and portraits. He was also an engraver of great ability and he reproduced many of his own works and also the pictures of other artists. He died in Munich in 1875.

Two Dragoons with horses, circa 1812. Gouache on paper, 25 × 32 cm, Army History Museum, Vienna.
Austrian Ulans attacked a French train, circa 1815. Oil on canvas, 30 × 41 cm, Army History Museum, Vienna
The castle Greifenstein on the Danube, 1812, colored etching, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Radirungen, c.1890.