Night in the Rafters
© DACS 2008

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Night in the Rafters 1974
  • Artist Rooms
The horizontal lines of this painting give the impression of looking up at rafters in the roof of a building. The medium of Braunkreuz paint was a favourite of Beuys, and one the artist had used since the 1950s. He used it not so much for its colour as for the sculptural quality it brought to his works on paper. The matt, almost dusty effect it created is also reminiscent of the earth. Animals often appear in Beuys's drawings and paintings, and three rat-like animals can be seen here, two of which appear to be fighting.

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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. AR00126
  • Medium Oil paint on paper
  • Size 75.80 x 55.70 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