Anselm Kiefer, Parsifal series, 1973, oil on paper on canvas, Tate

The Parsifal cycle comprises four large paintings, of which three are owned by Tate. The titles refer to Richard Wagner’s last opera Parsifal and its source in a 13th century 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.