Hammershoi in ‘colour shocker’!

That’s right – colour! 

Ladt week, at the Hirschsprung Collection in Copenhagen, a shocking discovery was made! Take a look, bottom right:

Pink! A pink room! By Hammershoi!!!

The label says ‘Interior in Louis XVI style. From the artist’s home, 1897.  In that year, the Hammershois moved into a newly built apartment, Aahuset in Aaboulevard, Copenhagen, where, presumably this was painted. 

Interestingly, when Hammershoi moved into Strandgard 30, he insisted on having the walls repainted to the muted palette that he became most associated with. 

This definitely needs more investigation!


A Perfect Moment

When I returned to the art world four years ago, I came across a watercolour by Turner that reduced me to tears: 

Today, I flew out to Copenhagen with the express wish to discover more about Vilhelm Hammershoi and headed out to the Davids Samling collection.

I walked into a room full of Hammershois – 11, to be exact, and the emotional reaction to these wonderfully melancholic, tranquil works was heartfelt, to say the least. 

Having been introduced to Hammershoi through the fantastic documentary by Michael Palin, I feel really privileged to have made this journey. 

See what you think! 

Hammershoi at Davids Collection

Vilhelm Hammershoi


I do keep going on about how wonderful Hammershoi’s paintings are:

A little question…

Copenhagen Interior School

Hammershoi in Stockholm

Look through any window…

Tomorrow sees me in Copenhagen, following in his footsteps and seeing some truly wonderful works of art.

Today, Sotherby’s tweeted about a rare Hammershoi coming to auction.  The last one went for £1.7m so don’t think this will be on my wall, any time soon!

Hammershoi’s ‘White Door’

Copenhagen Interior School

In Copenhagen, circa 1890, three artists, Vilhem Hammershoi, Peter Ilsted and Carl Holsoe showed works under the title, The Free Exhibitions. Later, they became known as the Copenhagen Interior School, as all three were focused on showing a tranquility through light, shadow, and enigmatic figures in an interior scene.

While this may sound as if they were producing works of a similar nature (Ilsted was Hammershoi’s brother-in-law, after all!), they each took a slightly different approach to their subject matter, although it is difficult to really spot.

Vilhem Hammershoi




Interior – Vilhelm Hammershoi


Standing Nude – Vilhelm Hammershoi












Peter Ilsted



Interior- Peter Ilsted


Girl Reading a Letter- Peter Ilsted










Carl Holsoe




Interior – Carl Holsoe


Interior with Woman – Carl Holsoe

Hammershoi in Stockholm

This is all about a painting I didn’t see.

Went to Stockholm this weekend, and, amongst other things, hoped to visit the National Gallery to see this Hammershoi:  Sunlight in the Drawing Room III


Good thing I checked first as it’s closed for refurbishment until 2018! So, we’ll have to enjoy it at a distance for now. It is making me wonder about the possibility of a trip to Denmark though!

Look through any window…

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!
This vid is Michel Palin's exploration of Hammershoi's work. Not sure which of the two is the most divine! http://youtu.be/fhQmS8KJeUo
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!