© DACS 2008

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Untitled 1959
  • Artist Rooms
The brown used in this drawing is the 'Braunkreuz' (literally translated as 'Brown cross') oil paint Beuys used from the 1950s onwards. The effect of the paint reminded the artist of the walls and floors of houses in his native West Germany, and recalls earth and nature. Here, the matt paint looks as if it has been painted over something to hide it, with the deliberate triangular shape at the top of the page, and the way the paint clings closely to the edges of the strange shape or figure below.

Glossary Open


A medium invented, and first used, by the German artist Joseph Beuys in the late 1950s. It literally translates as ‘brown cross’. Composed of a mixture of paint and blood, it evokes images of rust, dirt, excrement and blood. As a term it has associations with Christianity, Nazism, National Socialism, war and the occult. By varying the qualities of the component parts, Beuys could experiment with the colour, density and texture of this unusual material.



  • Acc. No. AR00643
  • Medium Graphite, oil paint and typescript on paper
  • Size 21.00 x 29.70 cm
  • Credit 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