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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Vilhelm Hammershøi
DANISH
INTERIOR WITH A MARBLE NICHE
JUMP TO LOT
4

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Vilhelm Hammershøi
DANISH
INTERIOR WITH A MARBLE NICHE
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

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London

Vilhelm Hammershøi
1864 - 1916
DANISH
INTERIOR WITH A MARBLE NICHE
signed with initials lower right
oil on canvas
84 by 72cm., 33 by 28¼in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

E. Segelcke, Denmark (by 1918)
Sale: Bruun Ramussen, 8 October 1964, lot 56
Sale: Kunsthallen, Copenhagen, 24 May 1973, lot 69
Sale: Kunsthallen, Copenhagen, 29 November 1978, lot 48
Private collection, USA
Acquired by the family of the present owners circa 2000

Exhibited

Oslo, Modums Blaafarveværk, Den forunderlige stillheten: Ida Lorentzen, Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916), 2005, no. 64, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Alfred Bramsen and Sophus Michaëlis, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Kunstneren og hans Værk, Copenhagen, 1918, p. 112, no. 372, catalogued (as Marmor-nichen, with incorrect dimensions)

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1914, the present work is among Hammershøi’s last important compositions. In 1909 the new owners of Strandgade 30 – the artist’s home of some eleven years, which played the central role in the development of his aesthetic – forced Hammershøi and his wife to leave. For the next four years the couple moved twice around Copenhagen until in 1913 the opportunity arose to live at Strandgade 25, exactly across the street from their previous home. The flat was located within the late Baroque buildings of the Danish Asiatic Company, and although the rent was costly, Hammershøi hoped the return to Strandgade would serve as a catalyst to re energise his artistic production. Yet in June the following year his beloved mother Frederikke died, Hammershøi himself progressively succumbed to illness, and in 1915 he would paint only one, final work.

Illuminated by the bright, southerly light filtering through the tall street-facing windows, depicted bare and without curtains, the present work takes as its structural motif the room’s baroque marble niche, visible in a contemporary photograph of the artist (fig. 1).

Whereas Hammershøi’s few other interiors from Strandgade 25 focus entirely on the long enfilade of rooms through the apartment, in the present work the viewpoint takes a different angle, precisely towards the couple’s previous address across the street. The objects depicted are significant: Windsor chairs appear only in the artist’s Strandgade 25 interiors, however, the glistening black-painted stove looks back to the landmark interiors through Hammershøi’s career, including the first interior he painted in 1888. Rare in Hammershøi’s minimalist oeuvre, the floral still life recalls Interior of Woman Placing Branches in a Vase on Table of 1900, yet while Ida appears prominently there, the absence of a human figure in the present work heightens the isolation of the scene.

The tightly-painted niche and furniture here give the scene its structure, however in this work the windows dissolve in a shimmering pool of light, serving to heighten the enigmatic atmosphere of the scene. Hammershøi’s VH signature – by no means common in his oeuvre – emphasises he considered the scene complete.

19th Century European Paintings

|
London