Hungarian sculptor; born Jan. 7, 1847, at Göncz; son of a poor country school-teacher. He was apprenticed first to a grocer at Kaschau, and then to a watchmaker at Miskolcz; but his love for art caused him to give up his trade in 1861, and he went in the most indigent circumstances to Budapest, where he entered the studio of the sculptor Professor Sandház. In 1863 he went to Berlin, and then to Rome, and, in spite of the utmost difficulties, finally succeeded in achieving an honored position among modern sculptors. His group "Old Germans in the Roman Circus," exhibited at the Kunstausstellung at Berlin in 1878, created a sensation by the boldness and energy of its realism, which is a characteristic of Klein's work. This group attracted attention at the Paris Salon also, and was awarded a gold medal at the Internationale Kunstausstellung at Munich, assuring Klein's position in the art world. Klein's sketches received the first prize in the competition for statues, in heroic size, of the ancient philosophers, for the Joachimsthaler Gymnasium at Berlin. He executed also the two large busts of Field-Marshal Manteuffel and General Werder in the Ruhmeshalle at Berlin.
The following are the best known of Klein's works: "Hagar and Ishmael"; "Samson at the Feet of Delilah"; "The Anchorite"; "The Conquered"; "The Fisher's Dream"; "The Deluge"; and the fine fountain group in the court of the first National Savings-Bank building at Budapest.
- Pallas Lex. x.