The situation is different in 1981. Richter divorces from Ema, his wife since 1957, and prepares his second marriage, with Isa. Recognizing that he is closing a phase of his life, he reminds his intense experience in Greenland, with the lifeless frozen sea in a light which is splendid by its uniformity.
He painted three oil paintings on this theme.
Eis, 70 x 100 cm, opus 476 painted in 1981, shows the ice blocks drifting up to the horizon in this world where human beings have no access. It was sold for £ 4,3M including premium by Sotheby's on February 15, 2012. Eisberg im Nebel, of same size, opus 496-1 made in 1982, is a study of fog on a free sea.
On March 8 in London, Sotheby's sells the largest of the three artworks, Eisberg, 101 x 151 cm, opus 496-2 painted in 1982, lot 8 estimated £ 8M. The composition is dominated by a towering iceberg over the horizon. On the sea the mountain is imperceptibly subject to movement at this key moment when the life of the artist is changing.
I do not think that the reference to Friedrich remains relevant at the time of the 1982 paintings. The artist is then fascinated by the diversity of light and by the challenge that it creates for the painter. The series of candles (Kerzen), much more ambitious, begins immediately afterward, opus 497-1 to 497-3, 498-1 to 498-4, 499-1 to 499-4 and later extensions.
SOLD for £ 17.7M including premium