- Museum number
- Object: Wege der Weltweisheit: Die Hermannsschlacht (The Paths of World Wisdom: Hermann's Battle)
A tangled pantheon of historical German figures, whose portraits are set within a forest and connected by the superimposed rings of tree trunks. 1976
- Production date
Height: 425 millimetres
Width: 501 millimetres
- Curator's comments
The drawing is on the back of a letter dated '19 XI 76' that Kiefer wrote to his friend 'Johnny' [Johannes Gachnang (1939-2005)], the influential curator and director of the Kunsthalle Berne from 1974 to 1982 and later publisher (Information from Anselm Kiefer, 15 November 2019).
This drawing is related to a series of large paintings composed of woodcut collages that Kiefer created in the late 1970s and early 1980s in which he addressed the refashioning of German civilisation by the Nazis.The title refers to Hermann - also known by his Roman name, Arminius - who led the Germanic tribes in crushing the Romans at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE, thereby ensuring Germania’s independence. Hermann became a powerful symbol for 19th-century German nationalists, and during the Third Reich the Nazis used his myth to proclaim the racial superiority of the so-called "Aryan" race. In the series of paintings Kiefer’s portraits of 18th- and 19th-century artists and thinkers, Prussian leaders and industrialists, and Nazi military leaders are largely derived from the 1937 book which provided a pantheon of figures leading to National Socialism, 'Face of the German Leader: 200 Portraits of German Fighters and Pioneers across 2000 Years'.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Bought by Howard and Linda Karshan from Daniel Blau in the early 2000s
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number