Spectacularly and astonishingly lifelike, Betty depicts Gerhard Richter’s daughter and is arguably the artist’s most iconic image. Shown twisting away from the viewer to stare at one of her father’s Grey paintings, Betty is as detailed as a photograph: every red flower of her jumper, every hair in her plait, is clearly defined with a mesmerising delicacy. Seen from behind, her pose recalls the Romantic trope in which artists positioned their models in the reverse as a means of beguiling the viewer. Betty is equally enthralling, and Richter has folded layers of reality into the image: the work is based upon the artist’s 1989 painting, which knowingly blurs the division between paint and photograph, here translated once again as a lithographic print. Reinvention is the defining thread of Richter’s career, and in Betty, he found a means to deconstruct past work. Describing this aesthetic transformation, he said, ‘in the photograph, I take even more focus out of the painted image, which is already a bit out of focus, and make the picture smoother. I also subtract the materiality, the surface of the painting, and it becomes something different’ (G. Richter, quoted in R. Storr, Gerhard Richter: 40 Years of Painting, New York 2002, p. 291). Richter’s use of photography critically engages with questions of reproduction and fact; both the printed Betty and the painted Betty provide a truthful interpretation of a constructed moment. As Richter has always argued, reality is never a single, fixed experience.