Joseph Beuys
Monument to the Stag 1958–85

Artwork details

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Monument to the Stag
Date 1958–85
Medium Wood, iron and copper
Dimensions Displayed (approximate): 925 x 1280 x 2575 mm
Overall display dimensions variable
Acquisition ARTIST ROOMS
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Not on display

Display caption

Since childhood, Beuys had been interested in northern European folklore, in which certain animals are endowed with mystical power. The stag had particular significance for him as the mythical guardian of the forest. The yearly shedding and regrowth of its antlers were a potent symbol of rebirth and renewal. In this work Beuys brings together iron – whose cold strength and durability he associated with masculinity and war – with copper, one of the softest metals which he associated with femininity.

July 2010

About this artwork