Stadtbild M2
Townscape M2

1968 85 cm x 90 cm Catalogue Raisonné: 170-2

Oil on canvas

The paintings Townscape M1 up to Townscape M9 [CR: 170/1-9] constitute Gerhard Richter's first series dealing with townscapes. In 1968 Gerhard Richter received the commission to paint a Milan cityscape, which resulted in the creation of Cathedral Square, Milan [CR: 169]. In the course of his preoccupation with the city of Milan as a motif, he also created the paintings Townscape M1 to M9.

Gerhard Richter initially produced one large-scale painting on one canvas, which he later cut into nine almost identically square pieces. The original painting is based on an aerial photograph, which survives on sheet 119 of Richter's Atlas. With Milan Cathedral at its centre, the source photograph allows for the localisation of the individual parts of the picture: Townscape M2 depicts a section of the cathedral's south side and a block of houses next to the cathedral square.

Transforming the aerial photograph into paint, Gerhard Richter enlarged it without adding missing details. Thus, black, white and grey colour patches are liberally applied onto the canvas in a pastose manner.

The original painting's format of 275 x 290 cm was designed to be viewed from a greater distance. The dismantling of the painting into nine smaller formats means the beholder must stand closer in order to view them. What could have, from a distance, been recognised as an aerial image of a city disintegrates into abstract lines and areas when seen close-up.

The series Townscapes M1 up to M9 illustrates Gerhard Richter's engagement in the process of abstraction: starting from a concrete depiction, which was enlarged at first and then cropped, the final image can barely be traced back to the source photograph. The numbering of the single parts of the painting, which do not relate in any way to their initial positions in the original large format, also suggests that any kind of identification is less important to Richter than the painterly process of abstraction.

Notes prepared by editorial team

Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (permanent loan from the collection: Frankfurter Sparkasse, Frankfurt am Main, Germany)



This artwork is based on an image included in Atlas:

This artwork was shown in the following exhibitions:

This artwork is included in the following publications:

Title Author Date

Publisher

Duke University Press, Durham (2017)

Details

Softcover, 163 pages

ISBN

9780822370017

Language

English

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 115-117 
Unconsolable Contemporary: Observing Gerhard Richter Rabinow, Paul  2017

Publisher

Hirmer Verlag, München (2017)

Editor

Schreier, Christoph / Kunstmuseum Bonn

Details

Softcover, 128 pages

ISBN

9783777428970

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 106 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter: Über Malen / Frühe Bilder   2017

Publisher

Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld (2016)

Editor

Müller-Schareck, Maria

Details

Softcover, 300 pages

ISBN

9783735602787

Language

German

Category

Collections
ArtworkMentioned: p. 123 
Wolke & Kristall - Die Sammlung Dorothee und Konrad Fischer   2016

Publisher

Prestel, München (2012)

Editor

Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille

Details

Hardback, 305 pages

ISBN

9783791351896

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 296 
Illustrated: p. 90 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter: Panorama: Retrospektive Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Édition du Centre Pompidou, Paris (2012)

Editor

Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille

Details

Hardback, 304 pages

ISBN

978-2844265746

ISBN

284426574X

Languages

French, English, French, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 81, 207, 296 
Illustrated: p. 90 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter, Panorama: une rétrospective = a retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2012

Publisher

Marsilio, Venezia (2011)

Details

Softcover, 219 pages

ISBN

9788831711128

Language

Italian

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 36, 71, 118 
Discussed: p. 18 
Il bordo del mondo: La forma sguardo nella pittura di Gerhard Richter Garbin, Emanuele  2011

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London (2011)

Details

Softcover, 288 pages

ISBN

1854379453

ISBN

978-1854379450

Language

English, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 296 
Illustrated: p. 90 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter: Panorama: A Retrospective Godfrey, Mark / Serota, Nicholas / Brill, Dorothée / Morineau, Camille / Borchardt-Hume, Achim / Dickson, Amy / Haidu, Rachel / Mehring, Christine  2011

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London (2010)

Details

Softcover, 96 pages

ISBN

9781854379641

Language

English

Category

Monographs
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 65-69 

In this publication, eminent American scholar and curator Robert Storr offers an authoritative consideration of September, Richter’s 2005 painting made in response to the attacks on the WorldTrade Center of 11 September 2001

...
More Details
September. A History Painting by Gerhard Richter Storr, Robert  2010

Publisher

University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL (2009)

Details

Hardback, 408 pages

ISBN

9780226203232

Language

English

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 163 
Discussed: pp. 156-158 

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter. A Life in Painting gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. A Life in Painting Elger, Dietmar  2009

Publisher

DuMont, Köln (2008)

Details

Softcover, 415 pages

ISBN

9783832190651

Language

German

Category

Monographs

Notes

Corrected and extended new edition.

ArtworkMentioned: p. 139 
Discussed: pp. 181, 182, 184 
Illustrated: p. 204 (b/w) 

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter, Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter, Maler Elger, Dietmar  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

3775722483

Language

German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 137 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter: Abstrakte Bilder Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (2008)

Details

Hardback, 160 pages

ISBN

9783775722490

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 137 

Exhibitions

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Gerhard Richter. Abstrakte Bilder at Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Haus der Kunst, Munich. The exhibitions were dedicated to Gerhard Richter’s abstract pictures

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Large Abstracts Wilmes, Ulrich / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Söntgen, Beate / Stemmrich, Gregor  2008

Publisher

Hatje Cantz, Ostildern-Ruit (2006)

Details

Hardback, 224 pages

ISBN

9783775717243

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 59 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. Portraits is the first publication that focuses solely on Richter’s portraits, many of which have now gained both recognition and veneration across the globe

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Portraits Gronert, Stefan / Butin, Hubertus  2006

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY (2005)

Details

Hardback, 324 pages

ISBN

9783937572215

ISBN

393757221X

Language

English, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: p. 27 

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1993-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Catalogue Raisonné 1993–2004 Zweite, Armin  2005

Publisher

Richter Verlag, Düsseldorf in association with D.A.P Distributed Art Publishers, New York, NY (2005)

Details

Hardback, 323 pages

ISBN

9783937572208

ISBN

978-3937572208

Language

German, German

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 25, 26 

Exhibitions

This catalogue raisonné records Richter’s works in the years 1999-2004. In his work, Gerhard Richter calls into question painting's boundaries, and the labels applied to painting and theories connected with them

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter. Werkverzeichnis 1993-2004 Zweite, Armin  2005

Publisher

DuMont, Köln (2002)

Details

Hardback, 420 pages

ISBN

9783832158484

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: p. 153 
Discussed: pp. 200, 201, 203 

Gerhard Richter has been widely regarded as a publicity shy artist. However, the biography Gerhard Richter, Maler gives an insight into Richter’s personal history as well as into the development of his artistic œuvre

...
More Details
Gerhard Richter, Maler Elger, Dietmar  2002

Publisher

Gli Ori, Prato (1999)

Details

Softcover, 205 pages

ISBN

8887700079

Languages

Italian, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 16, 30, 169, 171, 179, 181 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Corà, Bruno / Buchloh, Benjamin H. D. / Chevrier, Jean Francois / Moscati, Italo  1999

Publisher

Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. (1998)

Details

Softcover, 172 pages

ISBN

345833937X

Language

German

Category

Monographs
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 53, 54 
Gerhard Richter, 18. Oktober 1977. Eine Kunst-Monographie Hemken, Kai-Uwe  1998

Publisher

Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit (1996)

Details

Hardback, 311 pages

ISBN

3893228608

Languages

English, German

Category

Group Exhibitions
ArtworkDiscussed: pp. 38, 48 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer. Sammlung Frieder Burda = Collection Frieder Burda Poetter, Jochen / Brehm, Margrit / Möckel, Birgit  1996

Publisher

Tate Publishing, London (1991)

Details

144 pages

ISBN

9781854370846

Language

English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 27, 126 
Illustrated: p. 49 (colour) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter Rainbird, Sean / Severne, Judith  1991
Gerhard Richter. Bilder = Paintings 1962 - 1985 Harten, Jürgen / Hering, Karl-Heinz / Honisch, Dieter / Loock, Ulrich / Ronte, Dieter / Elger, Dietmar  1986

Publisher

Verlag Aurel Bongers, Recklinghausen (1976)

Details

Hardback, 72 pages

ISBN

3764702877

Language

German

Category

Monographs

Notes

Monographien zur rheinisch-westfälischen Kunst der Gegenwart, Volume 50.

ArtworkDiscussed: p. 11 
Illustrated: p. 13 (b/w) 
Gerhard Richter Honnef, Klaus  1976

Publisher

Museum Folkwang, Essen (1972)

Details

Hardback, 154 pages

Languages

Italian, German, English

Category

Solo Exhibitions
ArtworkMentioned: pp. 10-11, 39 
Illustrated: p. 64 (b/w) 

Exhibitions

Gerhard Richter. 36. Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione tedesco = 36. Biennale in Venedig, Deutscher Pavilion = 36. Biennale in Venice, German Pavilion Honisch, Dieter / Helms, Dietrich / Honnef, Klaus / Ohff, Heinz / Dienst, Rolf Gunther / Schön, Rolf / Polke, Sigmar  1972