Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche portraits of hikers – Read all portraits here

Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher wandering both in philosophy as in life

Text and drawings by Frits Ahlefeldt,

The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche ( 1844 – 1900) was famous for his wild thoughts, long walks and fragile health. He was walking to think, writing his thoughts down in small notebooks, spending the days, when-ever his health permitted it, on foot wandering along narrow mountain trails, along lakes or through the small Italian towns, where he often stayed

Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche on a mountain trail. German philosopher. Ink drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
Friedrich Nietzsche spent as much time possible on the trails, walking while exploring thoughts and paths of understanding as far as he could

Walking to think

Nietzsche believed that thoughts not created on foot was not to be trusted, but it didn’t matter that much if a walker would walk in new places or along the same paths again and again – as long as thinking was done by walking, outdoors in fresh air

A lot of the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche was an alternative to the classic but according to Nietzsche,  a bit one-eyed Greek philosophy after Socrates only seeing the need for Apollonian man, the ordered, rational, lawful strive, and less the need for understanding the Dionysian rebel, the mad crazy and ecstasy driven twin of order.

Both accepting and diving into order and chaos,  as a tree both heading up towards the sky and down into the soil with its roots was one of the images Nietzsche used to explain why we humans need both worlds.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Watercolor portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche by Frits Ahlefeldt
Friedrich Nietzsche – German Philosopher and wanderer ( 1844-1900) – Watercolor by Frits Ahlefeldt

Nietzsche took thoughts to the edge and sometimes beyond, in 1889 he went further than ever before, and was seen clinging himself to a horse in Turin ( Italy), either trying to escape from, saving it or becoming one with it ( or all three) in this strange turning point of his life, where Nietzsche was said to have lost his mind, stepping over, into a world he never returned from.

Ink illustration of the Philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche clinging to a horse. Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
Friedrich Nietzsche clinging to a horse in Turin in 1889

Research links:

Wikipedia on Friedrich Nietzsche Nietzsche, Dionysus and Apollo

A philosophy of Walking (Book by Fredric Gros )

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