Hirsch, 1963
  • © Gerhard Richter - Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo

Between 1961 and 1966, Gerhard Richter worked mainly on paintings that reproduced photos of everyday objects or family portraits.

During this period he developed one of his most characteristic techniques, blurring, smoothing and streaking the paint, and giving his subjects a veil of mystery. Based on a photo taken years earlier, Hirsch (1963) is one of the most singular works in this group. Symbolising the wildness that is key to German Romanticism and Nordic legends, a stag is depicted in a forest. Blurred by broad brushstrokes, the image asserts its presence at the same time as it distances itself in an impenetrable space. All that remains of the trees and branches are their clean outlines: tubular, curved shapes that envelop the animal in a wintery mist.