The Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916) is one of my favourite painters. His sensitivity, his lighting technique, his sense of intimacy. He is mostly known because of his indoor scenes, sometimes with a certain symbolism but when he paints outer sceneries such as a church or a façade, he is again perfectly recognizable because of a quiet, still atmosphere. Hammershoi and those rooms where a woman, dressed in black most of the time, is looking thrown a window, or reading or sewing; those un–inhabited stays in gloom or bathed in light. He was very successful at life, then despised and now he is ‘in the spotlight’ again.
I really like the painters who run away from the grandiose and look at everyday simple things such as the tiny woman ‘peeping out from a window’ in a gloomy inner courtyard. The courtyard of this house where the painter had lived, Strandgade 30, Copenhagen. Any Dutch painter could have signed a painting of the kind.