Vilhelm Hammershøi: The Poetry of Silence
28 June—7 September 2008
In The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House
Video: Explore highlights of the exhibition
The first Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) retrospective in the UK, this exhibition features over 60 paintings spanning the career of this celebrated Danish artist. The works have been selected from museums and private collections in Europe, the United States and Japan.
Hammershøi's most compelling works are his quiet, haunting interiors, their emptiness disturbed only occasionally by the presence of a solitary, graceful figure, often the artist's wife. Painted within a small tonal range of implied greys, these sparsely-furnished rooms exude an almost hypnotic quietude and sense of melancholic introspection.
In addition to the interiors, the exhibition also includes Hammershøi’s arresting portraits, landscapes and his evocative city views, notably the deserted streets of London on a misty winter morning. The magical quietness of Hammershøi’s work can be seen in the context of international Symbolist movements of the turn of the last century but the containment and originality of his art makes it unique.
This exhibition has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the National Museum of Western Art and Nikkei Inc., Tokyo
Find out more with an introduction to the exhibition for teachers and secondary students.
Click here to download the PDF (733 KB)
RA Magazine features:
- Haunted houses
Vilhelm Hammershøi’s enigmatic interiors appear highly traditional; but they are also distinctively modern, argues Martin Gayford. Read article
- Stilled life
Ian McKeever RA explains how Hammershøi’s contemplative work inspired his own painting. Read article
- Northern light
Michael Palin tells Martin Gayford about his curious obsession with Hammershøi. Read article
- Setting the scene
How the Hammershøi effect has influenced the staging of Ibsen’s plays. By Matt Wolf. Read article