German artist Richter during the 1960s was at the forefront of European art. Richter began his career as a painter by painting copies of photographs in grey tones only. By the mid 1960s he began to paint with colour and by the mid 1970s he abandoned the notion of subject-matter.

Gallery technicians hanging a picture by Gerhard Richter at Sotheby's Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild

Richter was both criticised and applauded for not following a single style of art, something Picasso was also famed for. In 2012 Richter's Abstraktes Bild, set an auction record for a work sold by a living artist when it sold for £21 million. In 2013, his work Domplatz, Mailand, trumped this record as it sold for £24.4 million.

PD640794 Gerhard Richter, Domplatz, Mailand

gerhard-richter-cologne-2 Cologne Cathedral

Richter designed a stained glass window in 2002 for the Cologne Cathedral which was uncovered in 2007. It consisted of 11 500 coloured squares which were randomly arranged by a computer. The piece was inspired by his 1974 work 4096 colour.

sonicyouth Sonic Youth album artwork

Richter's influences extend beyond art, the band Sonic Youth featured a painting by Richter for the cover of their 1988 album Daydream Nation. Richter himself was a fan of the band and he presented them with the original artwork which is now in Sonic Youth's NYC studio.