Vilhelm Hammershøi

1864 (Copenhague) / 1916 (Copenhague)

Hammershøi borrowed this confinement in an inner North from 17th century Dutch painting, which he studied very early on, in 1888. Often described as the "Danish Vermeer", he paints the tiny dramas of reading a letter, a music lesson or simply the repetitiveness of domestic time. Representing obsessively, as he said himself, "something with my wife in it", the artist gives in 1905 with Hvile ("Rest") as an inverted version of The Girl with the Pearl (bequeathed since 1903 to the Mauritshuis in The Hague). Turning her head, the mysterious young woman offers, instead of the glitter of the pearls, the naked glow of her neck. His extraordinary desolate views of the Danish countryside, with their low horizons and vast skies, are also reminiscent of Jacob van Ruisdael's flat landscapes - even foreshadowing the "general beauty" of Mondrian's cosmic landscapes, reduced to one line and flat surfaces.

Artist's issues

Issue 88

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