Monday, December 22, 2008

Interior, Strandgade 30, by Vilhelm Hammershoi (Danish)

Going back in history a bit - to the work of Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi. I just recently came across his work and quite possibly have found a new "favorite" to add to the list. He is not as well known, but his paintings feel like a merging of Vermeer and Andrew Wyeth. His best known works are interior domestic scenes, often with a female (usually his wife) with her back to the viewer. Very understated, yet intimate. The focal point almost always seems to reside on the back of her neck. This kind of "reverse portraiture" is a very contemporary move considering the time in which he was painting.

From Wikipedia: "Hammershoi's paintings are best described as muted in tone. He refrained from employing bright colors (except in his very early academic works), opting always for a limited palette consisting of grays, as well as desaturated yellows, greens, and other dark hues. The overall impression of his style is one of coolness, restraint, and quietude. His tableaux of figures turned away from the viewer project an air of slight tension and mystery..."

Hammershoi Images on Google

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior, Strandgade 30, 1908 (oil on canvas, 79 x 66 cm)

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