Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Richter, Gerhard

Gerhard Richter: Annunciation after Titian

After seeing Titian’s Annunciation (circa 1559-64) in Venice, Gerhardt Richter painted a copy, working from a postcard.


He made the copy “so that I could have a beautiful painting at home and with it a piece of that period, all that potential beauty and sublimity.” However after finishing one copy, Richter made four additional copies. In the later copies, Richter transforms Titian’s Annunciation to the point that we might not immediately recognize it. Departing from the formal realism of Titian’s Annunciation, Richter’s subsequent treatment of the image reveals a multifaceted strategy which distills Titian’s work into an abstract encounter of light, form, color, and substance, vividly capturing the supernatural moment of conception.

To see larger images of Richter’s paintings, see


Gerhard Richter: Annunciation after Titian, 1973, 125 cm x 200 cm, oil on canvas.

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) is a German painter who originally trained in a realist style and later developed an appreciation for the more progressive work of his American and European contemporaries. Richter increasingly employed his own painting as a means for exploring how images that appear to capture "truth" often prove, on extended viewing, far less objective, or unsure in meaning, than originally assumed. Other common themes in his work are the elements of chance, and the play between realism and abstraction. Working alongside but never fully embracing a quick succession of late twentieth century art movements, such as Abstract Expressionism, American/British Pop art, Minimalism, and Conceptualism, Richter has absorbed many of their ideas while remaining skeptical of all grand artistic and philosophical credos.