Annunciation after Titian, 1973, oil on canvas. Gerhardt Richter, German born 1932. Hirshhorn Mueum, Washington, DC
The artist reproduces exactly a painting by Titian – Annunciation, 1559-1564 – which he has then blurred.
Titian’s Annunciation is so well known and so often reproduced that Richter suggests it is no longer seen for what it is.
Richter’s comment is that the forms of our religion have remained – it remains encoded in our laws; Christmas trees and carols and the ringing of bells and the words ‘Bless you’ when someone sneezes –
while we have abandoned the substance of that religion.