born Nürnberg, 25. Nov 1792
died München, 21. May 1875
Johann Adam Klein may not be the most important Nuremberg artist of the 19th century but he certainly is one most popular Nuremberg artists of that era. At the age of eight he started his apprenticeship as a draftsman with Georg Christoph Gottlieb II. von Bemmel. In 1802 he continued his training with Christoph Johann Siegmund Zwinger at the municipal drawing school. The Nuremberg copperplate engraver Ambrosius Gabler (1805-1810), with whom he served a 5-year-apprenticeship had a lasting influence on him. The same is true for Klein´s friendship with his artist-colleagues Johann Christoph Erhard, Georg Christoph Wilder and Conrad Wiesner whom he met at Ambroius Gabler´s. From 1812 on he went on long journeys with them or on his own, most of the time on foot, e.g. to Styria, to the river Rhine, to Vienna and to Burgenland as well as to Hungary. A highlight of these travels was a two-years tour through Italy with a long stay in Rome. On these journeys he established contacts with numerous artists. It was only in Italy that Klein started painting oil pictures for which the depiction of the countryside with animals and people, often in traditional costumes, is typical. In October 1821 he returned to Nuremberg. In 1838 Klein moved to Munich hoping for better earnings opportunities He used the impressions from his journeys, the image of his hometown, animal studies an exact military and costume depictions in numerous works Just the City of Nuremberg possesses 500 water colors and graphic prints by Klein. The catalogue of his works lists 366 lithographs and etchings.