Monday, 16 February 2015

Vilhelm Hammershoi at the National Gallery

In December 1898 Vilhelm Hammershoi moved into an old merchant house in Christiansen. He painted the interior of his house more than sixty times, sometimes portraying sparsely furnished rooms, sometimes including the figure of his wife in a long black dress. She is either viewed in profile, but most often from the back, often reading a letter or a book.

The paintings are almost stripped of colour with a distinctive grey-themed palette. There is a powerful sense of stillness and silence. Spare and almost bare, the rooms seem to be self-enclosed.

These paintings have a restrained elegance and a quiet power that draws and enchants.

Interior, 1899.

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