Joseph Beuys

Schwangere und Schwan [Pregnant Woman with Swan]

previous next

About this artwork

The tiny swan in this painting looks as if it is swimming serenely inside the woman, replacing the foetus inside her pregnant body. The drawing combines male and female elements, with the phallic nature of the swan's neck. Beuys had been fascinated with swans since childhood. A sculpture of a large golden swan sat on top of the tower of Schwanenburg castle (Swan Castle) in his home town of Cleves, and was visible from his bedroom window while he was growing up. With his interest in language, the artist would also have delighted in the similarity between the German words for pregnant woman (Schwangere) and swan (Schwan).

see media
  • title:
    Schwangere und Schwan [Pregnant Woman with Swan]
  • accession number:
    AR00114
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil paint and watercolour on paper
  • date created:
    1959
  • measurements:
    27.60 x 21.30 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 2018.
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys