Lonely Light: Hammershøi, Ilsted, and Holsøe

Sometimes, ideal color palettes present themselves not in the form of a decorator's advice or a paint swatch, but connive their way into your brain via photographs, images, and paintings.

Such is the case with works by Danish artists Carl Holsøe (1863-1935), Peter Ilsted (1861-1933) and Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916). Plunging the depths of my inspiration file, you might be surprised to learn that I have saved a whole SEA of their paintings, all depicting stark, minimal interiors.

Yes, yes, I know! I am, at times, (you know, every now and then, just a little) predisposed to liking what one might call a "maximalist" space. But Hammershøi, Ilsted, and Holsøe have a lot to teach about color.

A sampling of their dead-spot-on tonal values, soft light, and delicate, lonely, interiors:

Above, Interior with Piano and Woman in Black, Vilhelm Hammershøi, 1901

Above, Artist's Wife Setting the Table, Carl Holsøe

Above, Interior with Young Man Reading, 1898, Vilhelm Hammershøi

Above, Interior, Strandgade 30, Vilhelm Hammershøi 1899

Above, Interior with Woman Placing Branches in Vase on Table, Vilhelm Hammershøi 1900

Above, Untitled, Vilhelm Hammershøi 1914

Above, Mother and Child, Peter Ilsted, 1892 


P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Yes- the dichotomy and the prerogative of the artist. These are arresting-I have a few old postal cartes of something similar-Now I must pull them out and see WHO? I will send you anything of interest. These are melancholy & lovely too. G


little augury- The light in these has always struck me the most, along with how subtle and perfect the colors are. I would really appreciate it if you found those post cards!! Thank you!


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