Mythic themes from "The Nibelungenlied", Sturluson's "The Prose Edda", and Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelungs" made contemporary in Anselm Kiefer's artworks




Dunnagan, Lindsey

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The purpose of this study was to explore how Anselm Kiefer resurrects the Nordic myths of Brunhilde and Siegfried by illustrating terrible events from World War II in his artwork. Hitler adulterated the memory of Nordic myth when he used these sources of German pride to further his elitist and hateful ideals. In contrast, Kiefer takes these same myths and casts Hitler and his actions as the villain. Kiefer pushes his art further, however, and questions the assumption of Siegfried's purity, sometimes depicting this hero as villainous as well. The resulting morass brings into question a larger statement about perception, duplicity, and the impurity of human nature. To study this topic, a total of eight paintings have been chosen for careful analysis and the research for these works has been gathered through scholarly journals, books, and professional online sources.



Social sciences, Communication and the arts, Brunhilde, Germany, Hitler, Adolf, Kiefer, Anselm, Siegfried, Sturluson, Snorri, Wagner, Richard, World War II