Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Danish Venus: Female Model 1909 by Vilhelm Hammershøi

We saw this painting by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) last year in the Danish National Gallery in Copenhagen. Although he painted portraits and landscapes it is for his rather minimalist, Dutch-inspired, interiors that Hammershøi is best known. The painter was born and lived in Copenhagen where he started his studies at the age of eight and by his mid-teens he was already studying at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen.

He used a very muted, almost monchrome palette and many of his cool interiors feature his wife, Ada.

Female model: studies

Hammershøi in his studio

We like the rather bleak, lonely, stillness of Hammershøi's painting and think it sums up the bleaker aspects of Baltic painting of a century ago.


  1. I saw an exhibition of his paintings a couple of decades ago, and I think it featured the second one of the pictures you've included here (but not the first one though, I certainly would have remembered that. He was a great painter, so thanks for including these. But surely, Hammershøi being Danish would make him Scandinavian (re your comment above), and not Baltic, although I suppose for most people that's more or less the same.....:)

  2. Scandinavian, yes but I am interested in the painting of the whole Baltic area including Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Northern Germany etc. All had a lot in common stylistically...