The Tannhäuser Gate (After Felsentor by Karl Friedrich Schinkel)

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The Tannhauser Gate is partly a painted vignette of the famous painting Felsentor by Schinkel. The work is also an illustration to the first part of the story of Thus Spoke Tharathustra, and evokes the Niezschien idea of man waking up in a high cave in the mountains to sunrise and the realisation that he can be a super being incontrol of his own destiny. 

Zarathustra then goes on to descend the mountain and spread his insight to the world of lower men. The painting is surrounded by a corona of the sun which brings the work round full circle and reminds us of the philosophical idea of eternal return. This being that we are all born of the destruction of stars and destined to return to star dust in a never ending cycle for all eternity. Similary in the legend of Tannhauser a knight enters a mountain and is kept there for years under the seduction of venus. Myths are cryptic blurred versions of phisical facts. When we escape these caves of our own creation only then may we be free from our human desires. I propose one way to such enlightenment is through contemplation and exploration within nature and deep inward looking reflection. This painting serves to awaken us from our meditations.