Thielska lends out two paintings by Hammershøi to exhibition in Paris

8 March 2019

The Thiel Gallery lends its two paintings by the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864–1916) to the exhibition Hammershøi, the Master of Danish Painting, which opens at Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris on March 14th. It is the first time in twenty years that Hammershøi's paintings are shown in a larger exhibition in Paris.

The paintings Five portraits (1901) and Landscape (1900) were acquired by Ernest Thiel in 1905 in connection with an exhibition of Danish art in Gothenburg and have hung on the walls in the The Thiel Gallery since the palace was built in 1905–1907.

Five portraits is one of the artist's most central works and represents from the left the artist Thorvald Bindesbøll, the brother and ceramist Svend Hammershøi, art historian Karl Madsen, artist Jens Ferdinand Willumsen and the painter Carl Holsøe. The friends are gathered at an elongated table, but each is enclosed within itself. Many have pondered over the subject and its content. Nor did the writer Hjalmar Söderberg succeed in decoding the enigmatic painting, but jokingly stated that the gloom may be due to the depiction of five people, but only three glasses.

Vilhelm Hammershøi's quiet and meticulously composed paintings of interiors in particular have a psychological sharpness that captivates. The realistic style and soft gray scale could partly be explained in the use of photographic models.

The exhibition draws attention to Vilhelm Hammershøi's close ties to Paris. On two occasions – 1889 and 1900 – he participated in the world exhibition in the French capital. The exhibition also wants to highlight the creative collaboration with the closest circle where the friends in The Thiel Gallery's Five portraits constituted the core.

The exhibition Hammershøi, the Master of Danish Painting runs until 22 July 2019.

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Landscape, 1900. Foto: Tord Lundh