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Gerhard Richter

Familie nach altem Meister

  • Translated titleFamily after Old Master
  • Year1965
  • MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions147 x 155 cm
  • Year of acquisition1987
  • Inventory numberUAB 363
  • On viewGround floor
  • Copyright© Gerhard Richter 2020. Photo: Haydar Koyupinar, Museum Brandhorst, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich

More about the artwork

When Gerhard Richter created this painting, he was already 33 years old. It nevertheless counts among the artist’s earlier existing works, and is listed as number 26 in his catalogue of paintings. The reason for this is that Richter destroyed everything he had produced before his flight from the German Democratic Republic in 1961. This work is exemplary of his œuvre in many respects. Instead of composing a motif himself, he chose a photographic reference: a black-and-white catalogue illustration of John Singleton Copley’s family portrait “The Copley Family” (1776–77). Imitating photography’s motion blur, he transferred the image back onto canvas. Richter’s style of painting is deliberately impersonal. He refrains from painterly gestures and thus imitates the smoothness of the photographic surface. Richter thus illustrates how closely photography and painting are intertwined. Just as photography carries traces of different painterly modes and genres—such as the group portrait—painting has also responded to and incorporated the aesthetic manifestations of mechanically reproduced images.

Further collection artworks

Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975, UAB 538aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen (Alphanso Panell), 1975
Cy Twombly, Rotalla, 1986/1990, UAB 463aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Rotalla, 1986/1990
Andy Warhol, Repent and Sin No More! (negative), 1985-1986, UAB 586aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Repent and Sin No More! (negative), 1985-86
Cy Twombly , Lepanto III, 2001, UAB 471aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Lepanto III, 2001
Sigmar Polke, Reh, 1968, 15589aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Sigmar Polke Reh, 1968
Keith Haring, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1985, UAB 873aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Keith Haring Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1985