Scandi cool Danish room in Sotheby’s sale

Vilhelm Hammershøi painting White Doors expected to make up to €680,900 at auction

White Doors, an interior by the celebrated Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi is expected to make up to stg £600,000 (€680,900) when it is auctioned by Soteheby’s in London on June 6th.

The painting, which is included in a major sale of Russian art and 19th century European paintings, shows a typically pale and sparse interior . Painted in 1899 its portrays an interiors style that endures today as Scandi cool reigns in design circles.

According to Sotheby’s , Hammershøie took the domestic interior as his principal subject, using his Copenhagen apartment as the setting for some of his most recognisable compositions.

“The sparsely furnished interconnecting rooms, dove-grey walls and solid white-painted doors provided the artist with the ideal environment in which he could immerse himself in a self-contained and hermetically sealed world. The natural daylight of the Danish mid-winter illuminates this sequence of spaces, and in White Doors its muted radiance is transformed into a poetic symphony of tone and light.”

Hammershøi was a key influence on director Tom Hooper and production designer Eve Stuart when making The Danish Girl, the film about the lives of Danish artists Einar and Gerda Wegener.

The lighting, setting – the blue-grey interior of the couple’s apartment in 1920s Copenhagen – and cinematography were all modelled on the pared-down aesthetic of the artist’s paintings.

The painting is being sold by the estate of Jens Risom, the renowned Danish American furniture designer, who was one of the first to introduce Scandinavian design in the United States.

In 1939, Risom travelled to New York to study and in 1941 he teamed up with entrepreneur Hans Knoll to launch the Hans Knoll Furniture Company, one of the world’s most enduring furniture brands.

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