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Hammershøi Auction in March 2016

Press Release   •   Dec 02, 2015 13:23 GMT

Frederik Bruun Rasmussen with works by Vilhelm Hammershøi

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen presents a number of exquisite works by the world famous Danish Symbolist painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) at the spring's international auction on 1 March 2016.

"Hammershøi is probably one of the Danish artists, who has achieved the greatest international recognition for his evocative Nordic motifs in grey tones. However, he was not a very prolific artist, so his works are rarely seen on the auction market. It is therefore a great pleasure for us to present several works by Hammershøi at the upcoming international auction, where we can present both one of his well-known interiors with a woman seen from the back and a peculiar portrait of his wife Ida, who was a model in many of the artist's works," says Martin Hans Borg, Head of Bruun Rasmussen's department of fine art.

When the subject of Hammershøi comes up, most people probably associate him with the highly recognizable idiom, where he focuses on sparsely furnished interiors with a delicate use of light. But his subject matter is much more than just interiors. You need look no further than to the offered paintings at this auction, which reveal a versatility that spans interiors, portraits and landscapes in grey, brown, black, green, yellow and reddish tones on the colour scale.

International Breakthrough

Hammershøi achieved international success early on, and some of the major artists and cultural figures of his time, such as Auguste Renoir, Rainer Maria Rilke, Serge Diaghilev and Thédore Duret, were captivated by his style. In Denmark, he became a unique figure in the contemporary art world and was supported by a number of private art collectors, notably the dentist Alfred Bramsen, the founder of Ordrupgaard Museum Vilhelm Hansen and the Hirschsprung Collection's founder Heinrich Hansen.

However, following his death in 1916, Hammershøi's works were slowly forgotten in both Denmark and abroad, presumably because the post-war era’s far more experimental avant-garde movements made his work seem too cautious and dispassionate. But years later the attention returned. Hammershøi is now not only considered one of the greatest Nordic artists, he has also regained international recognition thanks to exhibitions of his work in venues such as Musée d'Orsay in Paris in 1997-98 and the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1998.

In recent years, the National Gallery of Denmark has followed suit and presented a large Hammershøi exhibition in Copenhagen in 2012 and another exhibition in New York in October 2015.

International Auction at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, Bredgade 33, Copenhagen

Preview: 25-29 February

Hammershøi Auction: 1 March

Auction Period: 1-10 March

Exhibition in Paris and London

Prior to the auction in Copenhagen, the offered works by Hammershøi will be exhibited at Drouot in Paris on 10 and 11 February and at the Danish Embassy in London on 22 and 23 February, at events coordinated by Frederik Bruun Rasmussen.

Deadline for consignments for the auction is Monday 25 January 2016.

Press Photo

Frederik Bruun Rasmussen next to three of the auction lots by Vilhelm Hammershøi.

Vilhelm Hammershøi: Interior with a woman seen from the back. Strandgade 30, 1904. Sign. V. H. Oil on canvas. 70 x 54 cm. Estimate: DKK 4-6 million.

Vilhelm Hammershøi: Portrait of the artist's wife, Ida, born Ilsted, approx. 20 years old (1892). Sign. VH and certified on the back "Painted by V. Hammershøi certified by Ida Hammershøi". Oil on canvas. 40 x 32 cm. Estimate: DKK 1-1.5 million.

Vilhelm Hammershøi: ”Landskab fra Kongevejen ved Gentofte” (Landscape from the King’s road at Gentofte). 1892. Sign. VH. Oil on canvas. 32 x 46 cm. Estimate: DKK 1 million.

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers is one of Scandinavia’s leading international auction houses, and one of Denmark’s oldest. It all started on 6 October 1948, when Arne Bruun Rasmussen conducted the first traditional auction in the saleroom at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen. Today, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen stands at the helm of the family-run business together with the third generation of the family, his son Frederik and daughter Alexa, and the company’s CEO Jakob Dupont.

In 2004, the first online auction was launched, and today the auction house has expanded to include departments in Copenhagen and Aarhus and representations in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, Italy, Thailand and the US. About 100,000 lots are auctioned off each year at the traditional auctions and daily online auctions. Here you can bid on everything from art, antiques, modern design and jewellery to books, coins, stamps, wine and weaponry.