Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945)

Brunhildes Seele (Brunhilde's Soul)

Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945)
Brunhildes Seele (Brunhilde's Soul)
titled 'Brunhildes Seele' (upper centre)
graphite, acrylic and gouache
15¾ x 29 7/8in. (39.9 x 75.9cm.)
Executed in 1978
Sabine Knust Maximilian Verlag, Munich.
Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1983).
Anon. sale, Sotheby's London, 2 July 1998, lot 24.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Denver, Denver Art Museum, Earth and Fire, 2011-2012.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
Sale room notice
Please note that the medium for this work should read graphite, acrylic and gouache and not as stated in the printed catalogue.

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Beatriz Ordovás
Beatriz Ordovás

Lot Essay

An early work from 1978, Brunhildes Seele is one of an important series by Anselm Kiefer based on Richard Wagner's epic operatic cycle, Ring of the Nibelung, which recounts the ancient Teutonic legend of Siegfried and Brunhilde. Siegfried, after rescuing and marrying Brunhilde and having watched her sacrifice her supernatural powers for the sake of her love, succumbs to his desire for fame and adventure and is tricked into drinking poison that causes him to forget his vows to his wife. Near the end of the opera Brunhilde seeks revenge, but at the point of her husband's murder she discovers they have both been deceived. Grieving for her beloved, she constructs an enormous funeral pyre for Siegfried and rides her horse Grane into the rising flames. Kiefer has expressively depicted this fire in the present work in oils and pastels, the strong, gestural marks of the artist's hand heightening the emotional drama of the work. In this way Brunhildes Seele is a continuation of Kiefer's investigation of themes of love and idealism, but also serves as a metaphor for universal suffering, sacrifice and destruction.

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