Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 4

by Leslie Hossack

68 1890-1892 View of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn by Leslie HossackView of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn (1890-1892)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

72 1896 Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen by Leslie HossackAmalienborg Square, Copenhagen (1896)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

79 1902, The Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street by Leslie HossackThe Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street (1902)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

86 1907, From the Old Christiansborg Palace by Leslie HossackFrom the Old Christiansborg Palace (1907)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

88 1908, The Harbour of Copenhagen Seen from Kvaesthusgade by Leslie HossackThe Harbour of Copenhagen Seen from Kvæsthusgade (1908)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

These five Copenhagen landmarks by Vilhelm Hammershøi were photographed by Leslie Hossack in The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK). They are among several Hammershøi pieces forming part of the SMK exhibition entitled Sun and Soul.

The first three paintings above are much larger than many of Hammershøi’s works previously shown here on Haute Vitrine. View of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn is 115.5 x 147.5 cm, Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen is 136.5 x 136.5 cm and Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street is 146.5 x 140.5 cm. Hammershøi determined that the massive structures required big canvases.

He painted a succession of monumental pictures of historic Danish architecture, always shown as if the buildings stood in a ghost town; that is, quite without the street life that had typified the many Danish urban pictures of preceding decades, and without any hint of the social function the buildings had.

Kaspar Monrad, “Intense Absence,” Hammershøi and Europe (2014)

Hammershøi’s architectural paintings are the converse of his interiors. It is interesting to note that when painting these urban landmarks, he did not stand outside with his feet firmly rooted to the ground. Rather, he usually painted from a second story window, sealed inside his own world, far above the fray.

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of architecture, portraits, landscapes, nudes and interiors. However, it was his interiors that were the most popular in his lifetime (1864-1916) and continue to draw the strongest response today. Hammershøi painted over 100 interiors in the various apartments he shared with his wife Ida in Copenhagen. Their home was both his studio and a major motif in his work.

Over a century ago, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi elevated
“Stay At Home. Work At Home.” to an art form.

Leslie Hossack’s Hammershøi Photographs are part of a larger body of work that explores Hitler’s Berlin, Stalin’s Moscow, Mussolini’s Rome, Churchill’s London, contested sites in Jerusalem, the NATO Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during WWII, the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy, the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands, Scotland’s Freemasons and Sigmund Freud’s Vienna.

To view more photographs by Leslie Hossack, please visit lesliehossack.com