My Father Pledged Me a Sword

Anselm Kiefer German

Not on view

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s Kiefer made numerous works related to Richard Wagner (1813–1883), the composer who celebrated German nationalism and was later glorified by Adolf Hitler. Kiefer has been fascinated by the way art can be appropriated and sometimes misused, and the disdain that history can accord figures such as Wagner. The inspiration for this work is Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), part of the composer’s opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, which is based on medieval Icelandic mythological literature (the Edda in Old Norse) and Germanic folklore. The sword referenced in the title is Nothung ("needful"), the weapon thrust into a great ash tree by Wotan, chief of the gods.

My Father Pledged Me a Sword, Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945), Watercolor, gouache, and ballpoint pen on paper

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