Joseph Beuys

Monument to the Stag


Not on display

Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Wood, iron and copper
Displayed (approximate): 1280 × 1050 × 2510 mm. Weight: 45 kg.
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

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.

Gallery label, July 2010

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like