Pastel on paper
H. 300 mm; W. 250 mm
Date: ca. 1891
Provenance: Johannes C. Bock [his sale, Winkel & Magnussen 380, 1953 no. 41]
Private collection, Denmark
Exhibited: Kunstforeningen, Copenhague, Vilhelm Hammershøi 1864-1916, 1955, no. 52.
Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Hammershøi. Retrospektiv udstilling, 1981, no. 39, ill., p. 70.
Wildenstein, New York, Hammershøi. Painter of Stillness and Light, 1983, no. 25.
The Philips Collection, Washington, Hammershøi. Painter of Stillness and Light, 1983, no. 25.
Literature: Poul Vad, Vilhelm Hammershøi and Danish Art at the Turn of the Century, New Haven et Londres 1992, ill., p. 102.
Poul Vad, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Værk og liv, 2003, ill. p. 131.
||After his marriage with Ida Ilsted, Vilhelm Hammershøj 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, Hammershøj soon visited Théodore Duret, whom he had met in Copenhagen earlier in 1890. Duret was keenly interested in Hammershøjs 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 1891.
During his Parisian sojourn Hammershøj executed two paintings : An Archaic Greek Relief after an antique relief in Louvre and a Double portrait of the Artist and his Wife [Fig. 1]. The present self-portrait by Vilhelm Hammershøj 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 1891 . 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 He mainly was trying to depict his reflection showing himself withdrawn and almost absent.
Aside from our drawing and the two double portraits, only three other self-portraits by the artist are known. [Fig. 3, 4, and 5].
(Illustrations : please download the PDF)