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A Pixelated Prophesy

I thought I’d bring you something a little different today on the Jo's Art History blog - a contemporary stained glass window by the rather amazing and world renowned German painter Gerhard Richter.  

Commissioned by Cologne Cathedral and unveiled in 2007, the window consists of approximately 11,500 square panes of glass in 72 different colours. Richter chose colours similar to those already in use within the medieval windows of the cathedral.

The window’s composition was inspired by an earlier work of Richter’s called 4096 Farben (4096 Colours), which was painted in 1974.

Gerhard Richter, 4096 Farben, 1974

The project started in 2003 and was commissioned to replace the original 19th century window which had been destroyed during World War 2, which until the point of Richter’s commission approval, had been replaced with clear glass panes, which the cathedral disliked due to the fact they let too much light in.

Funny that?!

Richter is one of Germany’s greatest living artists working today and his known for his photorealistic paintings which hold an air of distortion and pixilation.

I find this window absolutely incredible and if you ever find yourself in Cologne, I would highly recommend you find time to visit the Cathedral to it see for yourself. 

The work was funded by 1,200 donors and Richter did not accept an artist's fee upon completion of the window.

In 2019 it was announced Richter was commissioned to make 3 new stained glass windows for Germany’s oldest Church the Benedictine Tholey Abbey, in Saarland, Western Germany. The windows are currently in production. 

JM June 2020

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