I Have to Stay at Home

I Have to Stay at Home

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 11. ANSELM KIEFER | LE DORMEUR DU VAL.


This lot has been withdrawn

Lot Details



b. 1945


acrylic, emulsion, oil, shellac, chalk, and sediment of electrolysis on photograph mounted on canvas

190 by 380 cm. 74¾ by 149½ in.

Executed in 2014.

Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot

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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg

Acquired from the above by the present owner

C’est un trou de verdure, où chante une rivière

Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons

D’argent; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,

Luit: c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,

Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,

Dort; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue,

Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme

Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme:

Nature, berce-le chaudement: il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine;

Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,

Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit

Le Dormeur du Val by Arthur Rimbaud. 1870

Anselm Kiefer’s Le Dormeur du Val is an extremely large and impressive canvas that is richly varied in colour, texture, and medium. The work is inspired by Arthur Rimbaud’s celebrated poem of the same title. Rimbaud’s poem was written during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and recounts the story of a wounded soldier lying in nature. The deeply evocative verse forms an emotive backdrop to this work. Kiefer has spoken of his reliance on poetry in the past: “I think in pictures. Poems help me with this. They are like buoys in the sea. I swim to them, from one to the other. In between, without them, I am lost. They are the handholds where something masses together in the infinite expanse. Sometimes the ruins of things past condense into new words and contexts.”