What do you see? Had this Hollies track in my head all day after spending last night with Vilhelm Hammershoi!
Hammershoi was a Danish artist whose dreamy, melancholic interiors are an absolute delight. This one has been at Liverpool Tate as part of the Constallations series and it is absolutely beautiful.
I have been collecting exhibition catalogues for some time (thank you eBay!) and yesterday the catalogue for a 2008 exhibition of Hammershoi's work arrived.
In it I found this stunning painting, simply entitled 'Bedroom, 1890':
Words actually failed me here and I would dearly love to see this in Berlin. Hammershoi specialised in windows with a figure looking out at the world. This has an wistfulness that makes you want to weep -not big, heart-wrenching sobs, but gentle tears that you don't even realise you are flowing. It is so hard to believe that this was rejected by the 1890 jury of The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts!
As ever, there are connections to this. The painting was inspired by Casper David Friedrich's 'Woman at the Window'. This lovely little video tells you about this painting: http://youtu.be/eE7BR9HCffk
And, while looking at these, I was reminded of this exquisite painting currently at The Williamson in Birkenhead – side note: I love going to visit The Williamson. Not only do they have some quirky exhibitions on, their cake is the best gallery cake on Merseyside!!
By the Liverpool artist, Thomas Burke, it has to be inspired by Hammershoi and if so, it has all the qualities the original artist tried to portray. There are so many ways to read these works in terms of what they represent. Are these women trapped by their domesticity and are searching for escape or are they establishing their place in an often hostile world? Either way, as a collection, they certainly lower the blood pressure.
With all this melancholy gorgeosity (thanks to S.Fry for that noun), it was natural for me to connect all of these works with the most powerful and deeply personal work by Andrew Wyeth called Christina's World. This resonates with me on so many levels and it is one that I will keep my own counsel on, so apologies, no sharing on this!
Oh, and if I have to have an earworm, so can you! Enjoy The Hollies live!