Art: Etcher of the Id

A man tosses in nightmare; waves swill against his mattress, accusing figures and monsters jostle in the water, and a gigantic buttoned glove flops like a squid against the bedroom wall. A skeleton lies across a railroad track, two bony ringers stuck between fleshless lips to whistle an approaching train to its accident. Cliffs become gloomy torsos, a lobster floats in air. The images seem like snippets from a surrealist collage by Max Ernst. In fact, they filled the graphic work of a 19th century German academician named Max Klinger.

Unheralded Prophet. Klinger died in 1920, after a career of prolonged and...

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