Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Miracle of the Serpents

Artist:
Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945)
Date:
1985
Medium:
Torn and pasted photographs and shellac on photograph
Dimensions:
26 1/2 x 23in. (67.3 x 58.4cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.14.38
Not on view
Serpents appear in Kiefer's work in many forms and reference a variety of meanings. Kiefer associates his Astral Snake, the encircling serpent (a carefully torn photograph of a bamboo plant) that hovers against a starry night sky, with the Gnostic image of the Ouroboros, a snake biting its own tail, which, for Kiefer, connotes a circular, rather than linear, concept of time. Miracle of the Serpents borrows from Exodus (7:10-12), wherein Moses, Aaron, and the pharaoh's sorcerers do battle: "Every man cast down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods." The central image at the top-a cut-out photograph of an Art Deco light fixture from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station-seems to stand as a futuristic manifestation of heavenly presence.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 15, 1998–March 21, 1999, no. 46.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Broken Flowers and Grass: Nature and Landscape in the Drawings of Anselm Kiefer," March 24–August 2, 2009, no catalogue.

Nan Rosenthal in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1994–1995." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 53 (Autumn 1995), p. 68.

Nan Rosenthal. Anselm Kiefer: Works on Paper in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 105, no. 46, ill. p. 107 (color).



Related Objects

Bohemia Lies by the Sea

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1996 Medium: Oil, emulsion, shellac, charcoal, and powdered paint on burlap Accession: 1997.4ab On view in:Gallery 915

Untitled

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1996 Medium: Woodcut, shellac and acrylic on paper on canvas Accession: 1998.279 On view in:Not on view

Hoffmann von Fallersleben: The Belt

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1977–78 Medium: Acrylic, graphite, and shellac on paper Accession: 1995.14.22 On view in:Not on view

The Vistula

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1977–78 Medium: Acrylic, graphite, and shellac on paper Accession: 1995.14.23 On view in:Not on view

Herzeleide

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1979 Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper Accession: 1995.14.25 On view in:Not on view