Interiors Painting by Danish Artist Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916)

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The Danish artist created his own personal style, independent of the trends of the time. His work is confined to a few pictorial themes: interiors of the places where he lived; a solitary woman, normally with her back turned to us, in a domestic setting; portraits of family and friends; monumental buildings in Copenhagen and London, and landscapes of the Danish island of Sealand. These motifs appear repeatedly in his paintings, creating an atmosphere of mystery with no apparent action, and this immobility is one of the keys to the fascination it exerts. Hammershøi’s range of colours is dominated by greys which, in his hand, acquire a strange depth. (www.cccb.org)

The mystery of Hammershoi lies in his quietly absorbing art, described by one contemporary critic as the work of “the weirdest soul ever to grace Danish painting”. Superficially at least, there was nothing bizarre about Hammershøi’s life. He was born in 1864 into a comfortable Copenhagen family, the son of a merchant. From an early age, he showed remarkable talent as a painter. He went to art school, where he was regarded as a prodigy, in due course married Ida Ilsted, sister of a fellow painter, and lived with her without incident until his early death from cancer in 1916. (www.telegraph.co.uk)

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