Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Vistula

Artist:
Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945)
Date:
1977–78
Medium:
Acrylic, graphite, and shellac on paper
Dimensions:
23 1/4 x 25 3/4in. (59.1 x 65.4cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.14.23
Rights and Reproduction:
© Anselm Kiefer
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 5
In a number of works from the late 1970s, Kiefer referenced the Vistula, Poland’s longest river, which has figured in numerous territorial disputes between Poland and its neighbors Russia and Germany over the past two centuries. The river region was key as a means of expansion in Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland. At the time, Poland’s only defense was its poorly equipped and vastly outnumbered cavalry, which rode out to meet the oncoming German tanks. Inscribed across the bottom of this drawing is "Die Weichsel" (the Vistula); another sheet has "Weichsel, Weichsel, weiße Weichsel" (Vistula, Vistula, white Vistula), the lyrics of a song about the subject that was popular during the Third Reich.
Inscription: Titled (along bottom edge): Die Weichsel
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. 28.

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. 67, no. 28, ill. p. 68 (color).

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