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Heliogabal

Artist
Anselm Kiefer, German, born 1945
Date
1974
Material
Watercolor and oil paint on paper
Made in
Hornbach, Germany, Europe
Classification
Drawings & watercolors
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
11 3/4 x 15 9/16 in. (29.8 x 39.5 cm)
framed: 18 1/8 x 21 3/4 x 1 1/4 in. (46 x 55.2 x 3.1 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Wooten Moore
Rights
© Anselm Kiefer
Object Number
58:2001
NOTES
In this vibrant watercolor of a sunset, Anselm Kiefer makes reference to the Roman Emperor Heliogabal, who was born in Syria. He paints the emperor's name between the sun's rays, transforming the seemingly benign sunset to include a larger historic and cultural reference. As emperor from 218-222, Heliogabal imposed, among other things, the worship of the sun god Baal as the state religion. The emperor's reign was short lived: the imperial family ordered his death by drowning at the age of 18. The sunset not only symbolizes Heliogabal's murder and the dousing of his revolution, but it also alludes to the fleeting authority of emperors and other leaders.
Private Collector, Buffalo, NY [1]

Perry Rubenstein Fine Art, New York, NY, purchased from private collector [2]

by 1979 - 1988
Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, NY [3]

1988 - 2001
Mr. and Mrs. John Wooten Moore, St. Louis, MO [4]

2001 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Mr. and Mrs. John Wooten Moore [5]


Notes
[1] A label previously located on the verso reads "Castellani Collection," but offers no address or phone # [SLAM document files]. According to a Buffalo State University art history site, the Armand Castellani Collection and Buscaglia-Castellani Gallery are located in Niagara Falls, NY. It is probable that this drawing was part of the Castellani Collection sometime before 1979.

[2] Perry Rubenstein Fine Art purchased the drawing from a private collector in Buffalo. Provenance is noted on an invoice dated July 12, 1988 [SLAM document files].

[3] Correspondence between Ronald K. Greenberg and Museum curator Olivia Lahs-Gonzalez dated August 28, 2001 indicates that the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery in St. Louis acquired the drawing from the Barbara Mathes Gallery sometime between 1979-1980 [letter, SLAM document files]. It is likely that the St. Louis gallery served as a local broker for the Barbara Mathes Gallery and facilitated the sale of the drawing in 1988.

[4] Referenced in the Bill of Sale dated July 12, 1988 [SLAM document files].

[5] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, September 20, 2001.
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