Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (Danish, 1863-1935)
PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED BRITISH COLLECTION
Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (Danish, 1863-1935)

A mother and child at a window

Details
Carl Vilhelm Holsøe (Danish, 1863-1935)
A mother and child at a window
signed 'C. Holsøe' (lower left)
oil on canvas
22 5/8 x 17 7/8 in. (57.5 x 54.2 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Bruun Rasmussen, Copenhagen, 9 December 2003, lot 1262.
with MacConnal-Mason & Son Ltd., London.
Acquired from the above by the present owners.

Brought to you by

Alastair Plumb
Alastair Plumb

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Lot Essay

The present lot is an archetypal interior of a school of painting which also included the artist's friends and contemporaries, the brothers-in-law Vilhelm Hammershøi and Peder Ilsted. All three artists were members of "The Free Exhibition" a modernist art society established in Copenhagen at the end of the 19th century. Their art could be traced back via the Biedermeier interiors of their Danish Golden Age forebears, such as Wilhelm Eckersberg, all the way back to Dutch art of the 17th century, in particular the work of artists such as Johannes Vermeer.

All three artists typically drew inspiration from their own domestic surroundings, often including their spouses, represented as a solitary figure, almost invariably painted side-on or from behind, and meditatively involved in quiet pursuits such as reading. Their homes are represented as sanctuaries, havens of peace far removed from the hustle and bustle of an outside world that is usually only hinted at by a shaft of light from a window which is often unseen.

However, whereas Hammershøi’s oeuvre was characterised by a combination of asceticism and Symbolism, typically depicting sparsely furnished interiors executed in a muted palette of greys and whites, Holsøe’s paintings stressed the material qualities and richness of his domestic surroundings.

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