No snowy landscape of mountains, ice skating men and women, Christmas trees and presents. Forget Bruegel, Avercamp, Friedrich. Instead a coolly spartan atmosphere with a bright white candle. Christmas evoked by German artist Gerhard Richter (1932) is not your usual traditional festive season feeling. However what is Christmas without the cosy and warm contribution of candles? The painting by Richter might suggest a Lutheran church or a monk’s cell, all in all we can’t be sure where it is set. The candle absorbs all attention.
This work is not unfamiliar in Richter’s oeuvre. He often paints the symbols of Christian faith. Here the candle is associated with church, prayers and, in this holiday season, carols. This Kerze (1982) was one of over twenty-five Candle paintings Richter created in two years. Christmas may unfortunately be over for this year, the festivities for the new year are around the corner. Let’s bring out those candles for more cosy and warm winter nights!