Vilhelm Hammershøi,Interior with the Artist's Easel, 1920

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior, Frederiksberg Allé, 1900. Privat owner, Great Britain

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior with a View of an Exterior Gallery, 1903. The David Collection

Living inside the painting

Hammershøi’s homes served a dual function: as his studio and as subject matter. He chose his successive flats on the basis of whether they would provide a suitable, sensuous room for his painting. Here he would apply his special method and his characteristic palette of whites, greys, and blacks.

Vilhelm Hammershøi, The four Rooms. Interior from the Artist's Home, Strandgade 25, 1914. Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

A Unique Atmosphere
Much of Hammershøi’s work shows interiors from his homes. Over the years he would use his changing homes as studio and subject matter. He did not choose his flats at random.

In an interview with the magazine “Hjemmet” in 1909 Hammershøi said: "I personally prefer the Old; old buildings, old furniture, the unique and distinct atmosphere that such things possess." 

His homes were chosen because they provided a sensuous space for his paintings. The rooms constitute the main setting, and in this setting the figures interact with their surroundings as if taking part in an intimate chamber play.

A part of an international movement
Hammershøi is part of an international movement in which traditional subjects, such as interiors, are used to investigate the painterly space. The artists accentuate phenomena such as light, air, and water over narrative, and their attention is focused on how they apply paint to the canvas.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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