Aurel Richter was born in Budapest in June 1870, a Jewish-Hungarian who may be related to the painter and engraver Anton Philipp Richter, portraitist to the 19th century ruling class of Hungary. Aurel Richter studied under Karl Lotz (1834-1904), who worked mainly in Vienna, decorating the interiors of palaces and public buildings with frescoes; Lotz was a member of the Viennese Academie.
Richter lived and worked all his life in Budapest as an illustrator, painter and designer; although he seems to have been protected by family circumstances from a need to earn his living from his art. However, he was not insulated from European art movements. He was in touch with painters of the German avant-garde, and in particular with members of the Bauhaus in Weimar. Here, in about 1920, he met Oscar Schlemmer, who became a close friend in spite of the difference in their ages (Richter was 18 years older). Schlemmer’s figure paintings, with their stylized, rounded forms, have a certain similarity to elements in Richter’s work, but their subjects are generally more domestic. Richter painted lovers, sailors, classical and jazz musicians, and such contemporary subjects as biplanes aand cyclists; his work – although always figurative – shows the influence of Cubism and Fauvism.