Born in 1945, at the close of World War II, and one of the younger German painters to emerge in the recent decades and become internationally known and liked, Anselm Kiefer's work deals mostly with "the ambivalence of his generation toward the grandiose impulse of German nationalism and its impact on history."
In 1966 he dropped out of Law and Romance language studies to study art. In typical Neo-expressionist style, Kiefer used familiar materials to express ideas. For instance, he used glass, straw and plant parts, fragile materials which contrasted with the subject matter of his artwork. Besides paintings, Kiefer made sculptures, watercolors, woodcuts, books and photographs.