The Belt refers to the narrow body of water that separates northern Germany from Denmark and represents, in an expurgated verse of the German national anthem "Deutschland über Alles," one of the four waterways that delineate the German-speaking world. The anthem’s lyrics were first a poem, written by patriot August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798–1874) while he was in exile in Helgoland. A cry for the democratic unification of the German states, the poem was celebrated after World War I as the national anthem but later used by the Nazis for a different kind of nationalistic fervor. It is perhaps the anthem’s fraught history that appealed to Kiefer.
Inscription: Titled in acrylic (U.L.): Hoffmann v. Fallersleben; (L.R.): Der Belt
private collection (until 1983; sold in 1983 to d'Offay); [Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, 1983–95; sold to MMA]
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. 27.
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.
Duisburg. Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst. "Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer: Zeichnungen, Gouachen, Bücher," June 29–September 30, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 218; as "Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Der Belt").
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, pp. 64–66, no. 27, ill. (color).