Townscape Madrid is an oil on linen piece created by German painter Gerhard Richter in 1968. It belongs to the New European Painting style and depicts urban landscapes and aerial photographs. The painting measures 109 inches 115 inches, making it a relatively large piece. Richter is known for his dynamic use of color in abstract artwork, and Townscape Madrid showcases this aspect of Richter’s artistry. Richter incorporates a dark-hued color palette to capture the grandeur of Madrid’s urban environment.
The painting reflects the atmosphere of Madrid during the 1960s while simultaneously emotionalizing its architecture. Richter captures the transitory nature of movement, as people go about their daily life, within the bustling city streets. By using muted shades of blue, red and yellow, he highlights the beauty that lies beneath an industrial facade. There is an idyllic harmony between tradition and modernity that can be seen within this canvas.
Richter’s Townscape Madrid is both figurative and lyrical at once; it serves as both a homage to Spain’s capital city and an interpretation of what he saw through his own eyes during his visit in 1968. Another work by Richter that highlights a similar juxtaposition between tradition and modernity is Red-Blue-Yellow (1972). This artwork translates the artist’s admiration for Spain’s heritage into oil on linen in order to celebrate it further on canvas.