Joseph Beuys

Scala Napoletana

About this artwork

Much of the work Beuys made in his last few years includes objects or themes which suggest death. This sculpture was originally inspired by a ladder the artist found while recovering from illness on the island of Capri in Autumn 1985, which he hung with two stones. When he visited Amalfi at Christmas in the same year, he purchased a ladder (‘Scala Libera’) from a landlord which he used to make this sculpture. Held in suspension, it appears as if the pair of lead weights are preventing this heavy wooden ladder from soaring into the air. This is one of the last sculptures Beuys made. He died in January 1986.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Scala Napoletana
  • date created:
    1985
  • materials:
    Wood, steel wire and lead
  • measurements:
    1100.00 x 1000.00 x 600.00 cm (room size at Bexhill)
  • object type:
  • 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
  • accession number:
    AR00086
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys