Richter was born in Dresden, where he studied from 1952 to 1957. In 1961 he settled in Düsseldorf, where he studied under Joseph Beuys. In 1963 he began using images from press photographs and amateur snapshots in his paintings, deliberately blurring them in order to undermine and challenge the boundaries of painting and photography. In the early 1970s Richter explored theoretical ideas about colour in a series of colour charts. In a similar systematic way he made a large number of grey paintings in which he experimented with texture and brushstrokes. Since the late 1970s Richter has painted an ongoing series of colourful abstractions and alternated these with painstakingly accurate renderings in paint of photographs of landscapes, people and still lifes.