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Man under a Pyramid
© Anselm Kiefer

Reference URL

Man under a Pyramid 1996

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
Usually denoting the presence of a tomb, ancient pyramids are commonly used to symbolise spiritual salvation. Kiefer’s structure is the same shape as the Great Pyramids in Egypt, whose stepped walls were believed to offer the deceased a safe passage to heaven. However, in Kiefer’s image, a body is still present beneath the pyramid. In his thick application of paint and ash, the artist creates a sense of gravity and re-contextualises the pyramid motif for a post-Holocaust era. Recalling the brick-like structures in his earlier paintings of Nazi mausoleums, it acts as a reminder to the haunting legacy of war.


  • Acc. No. AR00037
  • Medium Emulsion, acrylic paint, shellac and ash on 2 canvases
  • Size overall: 354.5 x 503.5 x 9.5 cm (support: 730 x 503.0 x 9.5 cm / support: 281.5 x 503.0 x 6.5 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