In 1969, he already appears both as an excellent practitioner and as a theorist. Admirer of Friedrich, Richter appreciates that the romantic paintings of landscapes are timeless because the landscapes have no soul. The fact that the most beautiful natural sites are universally considered as sublime is a paradox that the perfection of his own art will unveil, or rather denounce.
In his library of images, Richter chooses Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstätter See) in the violent backlighting of a cloudy day. All the elements converge for his purposed demonstration: the mountains in the shadow or in the fog, the variations of sky and water and the reflections on the lake.
The lines are blurred like the edges of Rothko's rectangles. Richter brings a sumptuous variation of shades by spreading a dry brush on the wet canvas, two decades before extending his use of the squeegee in abstract art.
His view of Lake Lucerne is supposed to compete altogether with nature and Turner. This oil on canvas 120 x 150 cm will be sold by Christie's in London on February 11, lot 8.