Jungfrau (Holz) [Wooden Virgin] (1958)
About this artwork
This drawing relates to a sculpture of 1961 called 'Virgin'. Made of teak wood carved in simple geometric shapes, the sculpture is three metres long and lies on the ground with legs splayed, as shown in this work. Beuys's depictions of women often connected them to the natural world and seasonal cycles. The use of dark brown oil paint for the drawing suggests a connection with the earth, and the figure blends easily into its earthy surroundings. The circular stamp to the left of the drawing is likely a later addition.
- title: Jungfrau (Holz) [Wooden Virgin]
- accession number: AR00639
- artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- date created: 1958
- measurements: 18.00 x 23.70 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © DACS 2016.
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
German artist Beuys believed that art was integral to everyday life. His own art was shaped by an experience early in his life. As a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, Beuys was shot down over the Crimea and was saved by nomadic Tartars. Barely alive, he was wrapped in felt and fat which preserved his body heat, and taken to safety on sledges pulled by dogs. This incident, and these particular elements, informed much of his art, which has a redemptive, mystical and ritualistic character. Central to his work were his 'Actions', which involved teaching, audience discussion and performance. The recurrent themes were social and political. Associated with the ecological movement - he was a founder member of the Green Party - he also had a strong influence on German politics.