Masterful work about Vilhelm Hammershøi


Lindhardt og Ringhof is set to publish the most comprehensive work to date about one of Denmark’s greatest figures

A monumental project opens new doors to Vilhelm Hammershøi’s pictorial universe. Vilhelm Hammershøi: On the Trail of the Open Picture, which has been in the making for more than three years, presents over 500 illustrations and sheds new light on the work of Vilhelm Hammershøi.

The book, published by Lindhardt og Ringhof, is created by Gertrud Oelsner, an art historian and director of The Hirschsprung Collection specializing in 19th century Danish art, and Annette Rosenvold Hvidt, an art historian and art intermediary at SMK specializing in Danish and French art from 1850-1920.

Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) is renowned all over the world for his depictions of deserted living rooms, architecture, landscapes, and women facing away from the viewer. In addition to his iconic illustrations, he also cultivated the medium that was new in his time: photography. Hammershøi’s photography is the authors’ entrance point to the artist we think we know so well, providing a path that offers new perspectives on his work.

Hammershøi’s works have often been understood as isolated, and only sparingly in dialogue with other artistic works of the time. However, through photography, Hammershøi explored new angles on the world, and it became a visual method that he translated into his paintings. By examining the dialogue between Hammershøi’s photography and his paintings and drawings, the two authors unlock new interpretive possibilities and bring forward an alternative understanding of his works, allowing them to appear as they never have before.

The book reproduces over 500 paintings, drawings, photographs, sketches, clips, postcards, and letters, which together provide a biographic, artistic, and cultural history of Hammershøi and his work. The book also presents some never before seen photographs, including images from the artist’s honeymoon, and a painting that has yet to be published.

The book is set to be released on October 12th.