Joseph Beuys

Bathroom of Circe


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Badezimmer der Circe
Watercolour and gold paint on paper and board
Support: 213 × 304 mm
frame: 680 × 525 × 38 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
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

Online caption

Circe is a figure from Greek mythology, sometimes depicted as a witch or sorceress. She transformed her enemies into animals by giving them magic potions, a fact which reflects Beuys's interest in shamanism. This work, which is a collage of paper on board, also shows the artist's interest in the Irish writer James Joyce. Joyce's epic novel 'Ulysses', contains an episode in the second part called 'Circe', and from 1958 to 1961 Beuys wrote two new chapters for 'Ulysses'. Joyce is believed by some critics to be the addressee of the group of drawings Beuys assembled called 'The secret block for a secret person in Ireland'.

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