The Turin Horse – Did Empathy Drive Nietzsche to Madness?
In this painting, I depicted The Turin Horse in a somber scene that questions the effects empathy had on the psyche of Friedrich Nietzsche.
In Turin in January, 1889, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche opposes the rough behavior of a coachman flogging his horse which refuses to move forward.
Nietzsche sobs and embraces the animal.
Then, his lodging-house keeper brings him back to his room. The philosopher remains prostrate there for two days, before sinking, during the last eleven years of his existence, into a crisis of dementia.
I wanted to depict this scene because, not only am I a great fan of the one who “philosophized with a hammer”, but because I find that it illustrates in the highest degree an empathy towards animals.
Was Nietzsche so affected by the fate of the horse that he sank into madness or did he recognize himself as if through a mirror, which caused him to derail?
What’s sure is that empathy blurs the borders and reveals us to ourselves. The Horse of Turin is also the animal that we are.
Where It Ended Up
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