Vilhelm Hammershoi 1864-1916

Provenance

Johannes C. Bock 

At Winkel & Magnussen, Copenhagen, 1953, sale 380, lot 41

Private Collection, Denmark

With Piano Nobile, London

Private Collection

Exhibitions

1955, Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen, Vilhelm Hammershøi 1864-1916, 1955, no. 52

1981, Charlottenlund, Ordrupgaard, Hammershøi. Retrospektiv udstilling, 1981, no. 39, ill., p. 70

1983, New York, Wildenstein, and Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection, Hammershøi: Painter of Stillness and Light, 7 - 28 Jan. 1983 and 12 Feb. - 27 March 1983, cat. no. 25

Literature

Poul Vad, Vilhelm Hammershøi and Danish Art at the Turn of the Century, Yale University Press, 1992, p. 102 (illus.)

Poul Vad, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Værk og liv, Gyldendalske Boghandel, 2003, p. 131 (illus.)

Drawn to Paper: Degas to Rego, exh. cat., Piano Nobile, 2020, pp. 8-9


After his marriage with Ida Ilsted, Vilhelm Hammershøi and his wife travelled to Paris. They started their journey on 5 September 1891, and arrived on 21 September 1891 passing through Holland and Belgium. Upon his arrival, Hammershøi soon visited Théodore Duret, whom he had met in Copenhagen earlier in 1890. Duret was keenly interested in Hammershøi’s art. On his initiative Durand-Ruel also got knowledge about the artist through a portrait of Ida which was sent to him after the exhibition in Munich in 18911.

During his Parisian sojourn Hammershøi executed two paintings2: An Archaic Greek Relief after an antique relief in Louvre3 and a Double portrait of the Artist and his Wife4 [fig. 1]. The present self-portrait by Vilhelm Hammershøi is presumably a preliminary work for this picture. Another drawing related to this painting is in a private collection [fig. 2]. It might have been used for another painted Self-Portrait as well which also can be dated to 18915. Like in many of his earlier self-portraits the artist was not so much interested in physiognomic perfection. He mainly was trying to depict his reflection showing himself withdrawn and almost absent6.

Aside from our drawing and the two double portraits, only three other self-portraits by the artist are known.