Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916)
Interior. With Piano and Woman in Black. Strandgade 30
Oil on canvas, 63 x 52,5 cm
Hammershøi painted his rooms either empty as in Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams, or populated by objects and people like this, one of the more furnished pictures. The interior is rendered with measured distance – both in the played-down character of the colours and in the characteristic formal structure where the immediate foreground of the picture is empty.
A typical figure in Hammershøi’s work is the woman with her back to us. She stands unmoving as a pillar, not engaged in any action but silently absorbed in her own thoughts. She is like the furniture – and neither the woman nor the furniture demonstrates or carries any real meaning. All the same it is as if an invisible meaning is present. The elements of the picture might suggest an allegory of love and art: not a living, fruitful exchange but an inaccessible tableau where the woman and the objects, encapsulated like objects, first and foremost become an image of melancholy longing.
Hammershøi was the last great painter in Danish nineteenth-century art. (Source)