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Vilhelm Hammershoi

(1864-1916)

Aliases: Vilhelm Hammershi, Vilhelm Hammershøi

Painter

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Biography


(b Copenhagen, 15 May 1864; d Copenhagen, 13 Feb 1916) Danish painter. Born into a wealthy family, Vilhelm Hammershoi started his formal training in 1879 at the Copenhagen Academy. In 1884 he went on to study at the private art school of Peter Severin Kroyer. He traveled extensively in the late 1880s to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Paris, where he exhibited at Exposition Universelle, thus building his reputation. In 1891 he married his muse Ida Ilsted, who is a common figure in many of his works. The same year he helped establish the group Den Frie Udstilling (The Free Exhibition) as a reaction to the Academy rejecting one of his paintings. As well as being a painter of landscapes, cityscapes, nudes, and church interiors, Hammershoi is most widely known for his quiet interior scenes that evoke and are influenced by the 17th century Dutch interiors of Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hoog. This comparison can also be seen in the symbolist nature of his interiors. Hammershoi was able to gain popularity internationally, exhibiting at such shows as the Venice Biennale and the Berlin Secession and winning awards in Paris and Berlin.

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