Anselm Kiefer

Parsifal II

1973

Medium
Oil paint and blood on paper on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 3247 x 2188 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1982
Reference
T03404

Display caption


This painting refers to Parsifal’s defeat of the evil knight Ither, whose name appears beside his broken, blood-spattered sword. Parsifal’s mother, Herzelayde, had tried to raise her son in ignorance of the violent chivalry of his ancestors. Her efforts failed, however, and Parsifal, whose sword is depicted here as gleaming and intact, went on to become a knight. Kiefer may have seen a parallel between Parsifal’s peaceful upbringing and the attitude of the post-war generation in Germany, scarred by the brutality of their country’s recent history.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Anselm Kiefer born 1945

T03404 Parsifal II 1973

Oil and blood on paper laid on canvas 3217 x 2188 (126 5/8 x 86 1/8)
Inscribed 'Parsifal' above centre right and 'ith Ither' above centre left
Purchased from Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Prov: Purchased from the artist by Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne 1982
Exh: Anselm Kiefer, Galerie im Goethe-Institut/Provisorium, Amsterdam, Sept.-Oct. 1973 (no number, repr.); New Art at the Tate Gallery, Tate Gallery, Sept.-Oct. 1983 (no number, repr. p.32 as 'Parsifal IV'); Forty Years of Modern Art 1945-1985, Tate Gallery, Feb-April 1986 (not in cat.)
Lit: Bazon Brock, 'In Venedig', Kunstforum International, vol.40, July-Aug. 1980, pp.102-3; Anselm Kiefer, exh.cat., Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf 1984, repr. pp.30-32 (12c as 'Parsifal IV')

See entry for T03405.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.514-5