Hammershøi under the hammer

Five of the Danish master’s paintings up for sale at Sotherby’s in June

April 6th, 2012 7:37 am| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

There must have been a point in history when brilliant artists, whose genius is unappreciated by contemporary audiences, started realising that death is the ultimate career move. Maybe that’s why Vincent van Gogh shot himself.

So there’s a good chance the much maligned Danish master Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) wouldn’t be surprised to learn that British auction house Sotheby’s has confirmed that five of his paintings will headline its Scandinavian Sale on 11 June, and that the combined estimate is enough to buy his beloved Strandgade 30 several times over.

The interest in Hammershøi’s work shows no sign of dissipating. A retrospective at the Museum of Western Art in Tokyo in 2008 made him a mega-star in the Far East, and other exhibitions, like the one currently running at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen that in June will move to the Hypo Cultural Foundation in Munich, demonstrate how popular he is in Europe.

“Public and private interest in the artist has grown considerably over the last 20 years, and particularly in Asia over the last five years,” Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, the head of Sotheby’s Denmark, told Artdaily.com.

Four of the five paintings are of the interior of Hammershøi’s home at Strandgade 30, three feature his wife Ida, and three are from private Danish collections. Together the combined estimate of the works is 12.0 million to 18.3 million kroner.

The Hammershøi record currently stands at £590,400 (today, 5.28 million kroner) for ‘Interior with Easel, Bredgade 25’, which was sold in June 2006, but according to Sother-by’s projections, ‘Ida Reading a Letter’ (£500,000-700,000) has a good chance of beating it.

However, it will need something approaching an auction-house miracle to beat the 15.6 million kroner record for a Danish painting, which was set in 2002 for a work by Asger Jorn that was sold by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.
 For more details about the career and life of Vilhelm Hammershøi, see http://bit.ly/hammershoi.
 

(Photo by Miklosszabo)
Early-September Performance: Recommended without a shadow of a doubt
Die Frau Ohne Schatten Sep 5-27; Operaen, Ekvipagemestervej 10, Cph K; 1...
The most recent Danish Oscar winner was Susanne Bier’s ‘Hævnen’ (In a Better World) for 2010 (photo: iStock)
Shortlist announced for Danish Oscar entry
The Danish shortlist for the best foreign language film entry for the 2015 ...
The cuts could mean fewer theatre productions, shorter opening hours and fewer exhibitions and concerts (photo: iStock)
Government eyeing massive culture slash
The culture minister, Bertel Haarder, has unveiled plans to cut 8 percent o...
The NB8 (Nordic Baltic 8) meeting focused on regional security, climate and co-operation (photo: Foreign Ministry)
Nordic and Baltic leaders meet in Copenhagen
The Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers met in Copenhagen this week to disc...
Twice a finalist, the draw had once again been a kind one. To be fair, though, her opponent is a former world number 25 (photo: Tatiana)
Sport in brief: Wozniacki knocked out of US Open in second round
Denmark woke up to the news that its tennis darling, Caroline Wozniacki, ha...
Wearing a condom reduces the spread of the disease (photo: iStock)
Jump in syphilis cases for second year in a row
The number of cases of newly-developed syphilis recorded in Denmark jumped ...