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Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles [the dark light falling from the stars]
© Anselm Kiefer

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Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles [the dark light falling from the stars] 1999

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
This installation comprises a painting and sculpture displayed together with fragments of lead and glass. The painting's surface is cracked and broken, created using a combination of wood, straw and paint, mixed with clay and shellac. Kiefer’s bookcase is equally damaged. Completely unreadable, the decaying manuscripts perhaps symbolize the destruction of German-Jewish literature during the Nazi books burnings in 1933. The French title, meaning "The dark light that falls from the stars", is taken from 'Le Cid' by Corneille and refers to Kiefer’s relationship to France, which offered freedom from the weight of Germany’s troubled past.

Glossary Open

Installation art

An art practice developed in the second half of the 20th century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.

Installation art


  • Acc. No. AR00041
  • Medium Acrylic paint, oil paint, shellac, earth, sand, wood, paper and glass on 2 canvases, lead, iron, books and other materials
  • Size 470.00 x 400.00 cm; 340.00 x 165.00 x 110.00 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