St. Eustace, 1974
Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945)
Watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil on paper; 8 1/8 x 10 3/4 in. (20.6 x 27.3 cm)
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, in memory of her father, Joseph H. Hazen, 2000 (2000.96.4)
In this drawing, Kiefer refers to the legend of Saint Eustace, a second-century A.D. Christian martyr who is the subject of a famously large and meticulously detailed engraving by Albrecht Dürer (ca. 1500–1501; 19.73.65). According to his legend, Eustace was a noble officer in the army of the Roman emperor Trajan, who, while hunting one day, encountered a stag. This magnificent animal bore a crucifix between his antlers and addressed the soldier in the name of Christ, converting Eustace to Christianity. Basing his image of the stag on photographs he took of a reindeer he saw during a trip to Norway in 1974, Kiefer replaces the crucifix with a radiant painter's palette.