Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 172

found expression while he was gravely ill in

. The couple had an o
ffi
cial residence in the hospital until

, after which she established a beautiful home at Østerbro near the Øresund coast. In

, Ellen Faber
gave birth to a son, who became a doctor, as, subsequently, did a grandson.
The closed, sombre quality of the young woman’s face in Hammershøi’s painting does not seem to
have been characteristic of Ellen Becker, if we are to believe accounts of her personality and later photo-
graphs of her. Evidently, this is a typical feature of the artist’s portraits from this period; it is also seen in
those he painted of his friends Karl Madsen (

, Statens Museum for Kunst) and Kristian Zahrtmann
(

, Statens Museum for Kunst). Both of these men were lively and quick-witted. This could be seen in
their behaviour and facial expressions and is apparent in photographs and other artists’ portraits of them,
for instance those by P.S. Krøyer and Viggo Johansen (


). Hammershøi, by contrast, sought seri-
ousness and introspective qualities and did not recreate those features that super
fi
cially might seem to con-
vey his models’ personalities. The quiet, expressive grandeur that is a characteristic of Hammershøi’s art
applies also to his portraits, which perhaps more than anything else, are pictorial art.
E.F.

]
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