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Interior
  • Artist Vilhelm Hammershöi (Danish, 1864 - 1916)
  • TitleInterior
  • Dating 1893
  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions56,5 x 46,5 cm
  • AcquisitionBequest of Pontus and Göthilda Fürstenberg, 1902
  • Art MovementRealism
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberF 35
  • Display StatusOn display in The Fürstenberg Gallery III (Room 18)
Description
Exhibition History
Bibliography
Interior (c.1899) was probably painted in the artist’s home at Strandgade 30 in Copenhagen, where the Hammershøis moved in September 1898. A woman is seated on a chair with her back to us. She is wearing a long black skirt and a white blouse. Her hair is up in a bun. She sits at a small semi-circular table, reading a book. Only one of the three table legs is visible; the other two are hidden by the woman and the white panelled door which stands ajar on the right. To the left is a grey curtain, and the wall with its dado is in two different hues. On the wall hangs a landscape in a black frame.

A grey light falls on the scene from the left. The image is bare of detail and the colours are subdued. It gives the scene a devout air. The woman sits absorbed in her reading, facing away from us. Time has stopped, and we pause in an eternal moment. In this painting too the curtailing means that the composition is emphasized at the expense of depth. It is because of this simplification and purity of expression that Vilhelm Hammershøi continues to fascinate today. Perhaps because he painted quiet and reverent spaces—sought-after at a time when we are awash with a constant flow of communication.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014