Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 161

[

VILHELM HAMMERSHØI
   ‒    
 .
Study drawing after plaster cast of ancient Greek Aphrodite,
torso from c.

BC
(
c.

)
(Studietegning efter gipsafstøbning efter antik græsk Afrodite, torso fra ca.

F. Kr.)
Charcoal, paper,
½
x
⁴⁄₅
in. (

x

cm)
Signed on right edge: VH
       :
Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill.
         :
Tokyo, Museum of Western Art, Vilhelm Hammershøi, the Poetry of Silence,

, no.
, ill.; Scandinavia House,
New York,
Danish Paintings from the Golden Age to the Modern Breakthrough, Selections from the Collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb
Jr.
,

, no.

.
         :
Patricia G. Berman,
In Another Light, Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century
, New York

, p.

, ill. p.

.
V
ilhelm Hammershøi received his
fi
rst professional training between the ages of eight and twelve,
when he drew at home twice a week. In recognition of the boy’s unusual talent, his mother had
engaged the highly esteemed teacher of drawing, Niels Christian Kierkegaard (


), who himself
had been trained by C.W. Eckersberg. After this, Hammershøi attended the Technical School, where his
teacher Holger Grønvold (


) was of great importance to him, and under whose tutelage this
piece was drawn. Grønvold had shortly before this trained in Paris under Henri Lehmann (


), who
again was a pupil of J.-A.-D. Ingres (


). In addition to his ability to develop his pupils’ drawing
abilities, Grønvold had a clear sense of how their artistic abilities could best be stimulated. Several gen-
erations of the most important painters of the time have expressed their deep appreciation of the teach-
ing and the understanding they encountered on the part of Grønvold, who personally had no success as
a painter.
With support from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, the technical schools were established
during the

th century to improve the training of artisan craftsmen, and they also had courses leading
to admission to the Academy. Drawing was an essential discipline, and the methods used were the same
as in the Academy. The students
fi
rst copied two-dimensional models and then drew elementary spatial
objects before advancing to drawing sculpture proper. At the Academy the process ended with the stu-
dents being allowed to work from life.
This tradition goes back to the Renaissance, which cultivated the Greek and Roman art of antiquity
as its ideal. The enthusiasm for antiquity was the central pillar in the acquisition of art and an academic
education, a tradition that obtained right up to the beginning of the

th century. Since its establish-
ment in

, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen had collected casts of ancient
sculptures for use in its teaching, and the technical schools also had classical casts at their disposal. Such
casts were considered to have a general educational value, an idea that towards

resulted in the
establishment of large collections of casts open to the public. In the Royal Collection of Casts from

—which today forms part of Statens Museum for Kunst—ordinary people could study three-
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