Nietzsche and the Horse (2011)

Friedrich Nietzsche was a hugely influential German philosopher. Much misunderstood and misrepresented, he is perhaps best known for his notion of the Will to Power.



I have painted him embracing a horse, a reference to the event which is generally considered to be the point of his mental breakdown.



On January 3, 1889, Nietzsche suffered a mental collapse. Two policemen approached him after he caused a public disturbance in the streets of Turin. What actually happened remains unknown, but an often-repeated tale states that Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse at the other end of the Piazza Carlo Alberto, ran to the horse, threw his arms up around its neck to protect the horse, and then collapsed to the ground.

3 Comments

  • Nico says:

    Hi Eric.

    I found your site, and this page, when I went looking for a pic of Nietzsche to illustrate a blog post. I was hoping for something more distinctive than the familiar profile of him resting his head on his hand, or gazing nearsighted through his specs, something more humanizing, not photographic, and your painting is almost too perfect.

    May I use your painting on my blog, with a credit and a link back to here, or to somewhere else you’d prefer?

    The post I want to illustrate is nothing more than a short quote of his: ““At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.”

    The quote speaks to how I’m feeling about certain things (about which I’m writing) and the “protecting a whipped horse” motif of your painting captures it so well!

    Thank you!

    Nico

  • Amazing photo! an amazingly beautiful summation of this mans relationship to the natural world that was all around him..

    I tip my hat to you 🙂

  • Victor Popov says:

    I have always wanted to see paintings of certain epic historical situations one of them was Nietzsche collapse. This was the only painting I saw that came close and it is very beautiful thank you very much for making it. Do you take requests and how much do you charge for a painting there are several historical events which I would love to see painted

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