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Conservator Henriette Heyn Olsen

Hammershøi | 23.sep.2011

Hammershøi at the conservator

In recent months our resident conservator Henriette Heyn Olsen has closely inspected and conserved several of Hammershøi’s works from the Gallery’s collection. We will share her findings about Hammershøi’s methods in some blog entries here!

"The more I watch his work, the more modern he seems to me …” Henriette has come across several devices in Hammershøi that picture him as an artist with a modern approach to painting. For example, Hammershøi often opts out of employing a coloured ground, allowing either the canvas or the base ground to shine through.  This marks a break with tradition and is a radical and unencumbered way of approaching a canvas.  In order to get exactly the section of his image that he wants to be in the final work, Hammershøi “crops” his motifs, e.g. by bending what can often be quite large areas of canvas back. This becomes apparent when the paintings are taken out of their frames, revealing the reverses where the remaining parts of the canvas show.

As Henriette says: "This methods offers an amazing freedom of choice."

Read more about Henriette’s experiences in future blog entries!

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