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In addition to portraits of family members, from around 1964 Richter made a number of portraits of dealers, collectors, artists and others connected with his immediate professional circle.

Among the earliest were three portraits of the art dealer Alfred Schmela, one of which is shown here. Schmela gave Richter his first one-man show in Dusseldorf in 1964. In the same year, Richter painted a full-length portrait of Arnold Bode, the influential curator of the Documenta 2 exhibition which in 1959 first brought Richter's attention to a range of contemporary art. Also in 1964, Richter painted several portraits of Willy Schniewind, who was among the artist's first collectors.

From 1966, as well as photographs given to him by others, Richter began using photographs he had taken as the basis for portraits. In 1971 he painted the portrait of the artist Brigid Polk who was closely associated with Warhol's circle basing this on Polk's photographs. The portrait of the British artists Gilbert and George, which replicates the multiple exposures of Richter's original photograph, belongs to the mid-1970s.


Gilbert and George by Gerhard Richter, 1975
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gerhard Richter, 2009