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The Parsifal cycle comprises four large paintings, of which three are owned by Tate. The titles refer to Richard Wagner’s last opera Parsifaland its source in a 13thcentury romance by Wolfram von Eschenbach, which was based on the legend of the Holy Grail. The setting for this painting is Kiefer’s attic studio. The presence of a baby’s cot points to the birth and early life of the hero Parsifal. It also suggests that the artist’s studio is a place of genesis.


September 2004