Monday, 13 February 2012

Vilhelm Hammershøi and Interior with Piano and Woman in Black

'Interior With Piano and Woman in Black (Strandgade 30)' (1901) by Vilhelm
Hammershøi; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart

What a fun thing it is to do this blog! I've already discovered so many painters who would otherwise have stayed unknown to me and today I have discovered another amazing painter. His name is Vilhelm Hammershøi and he was a Danish painter, born on 15 May 1864 and died on 13 February 1916. I saw the images of his paintings on the internet and already love his work. I got to choose from so many wonderful paintings. Hammershøi is well-known for his serene portraits and interiors, all very muted in colour. He never used bright colours, mainly greys and blues. A recurring figure in his paintings is the woman standing with her back to us. She doesn't seem to be engaged in any kind of activity, just absorbed in thought, as if she is part of the furniture. Apparently she was his wife Ida. I suggest you go and have a look on the internet for his other paintings. When you see some of them together, they breathe an air of serenity because of the lack of colour and lack of activity. In a way they remind me a bit of Edward Hopper's paintings although Hopper's paintings are of a more desolate nature and are less serene. Read why Michael Palin became fascinated by the painter and made the documentary 'Michael Palin and the Mystery of Hammershøi'.

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