Untitled (The Rhine) (Ohne Titel [Der Rhein], 1982) has two distinct parts. Along the bottom is the Rhine River, a frequent symbol in Kiefer's works of the late 1960s. Kiefer, who was born and raised along the Rhine, here recalls the iconic value it held within both Romanticism and the nationalist movements that followed. Over the river looms a building whose style evokes that favored by the Nazi regime, as embodied by the work of architects such as Speer and Wilhelm Kreis. Kiefer thus juxtaposes the flow of nature, as represented by the river, with the formal aesthetic dogmatization that Nazism endeavored to impose as a standard.

A further allusion to German history is communicated by the medium itself: woodcutting is a traditional technique in German art, from the great Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer to 20th-century Expressionists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. This work consists of different woodcut prints mounted on canvas to produce the full image, with the edges between them slightly visible. The artist has further emphasized the medium through the device of the printed wood frame that surrounds the image.


  • Title: Untitled (The Rhine)
  • Creator: Anselm Kiefer
  • Date Created: 1982
  • Location: Bilbao, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: 280 x 354 x 6.8 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Woodcut, emulsion, oil, and collage on canvas
  • Artwork's location in the Museum: Not on view

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app


Google apps