The challenge of establishing a legitimate place for painting in the post-photo age has been taken up by lots of artists in many different ways. Now 88, Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest contemporary painters in the world today, has during a long career created a large number of overpainted photographs.
His Wolken (Fenster) (Clouds (Window)) comes up at Sotheby's next week with an estimate of £9m-£12m. The auctioneers say this immersive skyscape reinvents the sublime landscapes of predecessors like Constable, Turner and Caspar David Friedrich, channelling their work into a new contemporary vision.
The abstract, almost minimalist work, painted not from life but from a photograph, is one of the highlights of From Rembrandt to Richter, Sotheby's one-off cross-category summer evening auction in London next Tuesday (July 28). The sale will span more than 500 years of art history with old masters, impressionists and modern art, post-war and contemporary art from the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch golden age to the birth of modernism, pop art and post-modern abstraction.