Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 188

VILHELM HAMMERSHØI
   ‒    
   .
The Artist’s Wife Ida
(

)
(Portrætstudie af kunstnerens hustru Ida)
Oil on canvas,
³
/
₂₀
x

in. (

x

cm)
Unsigned
       :
Art historian Karl Madsen (

); Winkel & Magnussen, Auction

,

(Karl Madsen), lot

, ill. p.

; Mad-
sen’s son-in-law, the painter Arne Lofthus; Lofthus’s daughter, the assistant museum curator Else Lofthus; Bruun Rasmussen,
Auction

,

, lot

, ill. (described as:
Portræt. Brystbillede uden Hænder. En face. Forstudie til den midterste af Figurerne, Ida Ham-
mershøi, i “Tre kvinder” 1895).
         :
Den Frie Udstilling

, no.

(
Dameportræt
); Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen,
Vilhelm Hammershøi
,

, no.

; Lil-
jevalchs Konsthal, Stockholm,
Nyare dansk konst
,

, no.

; Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris,
L’art danois
,

, no.

; Forum,
Copenhagen,
Det danske Kunststævne
,

, no.

; Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm,
Vilhelm Hammershøi,

, no.

.
         :
Sophus Michaëlis and Alfred Bramsen,
Vilhelm Hammershøi, Kunstneren og hans Værk
, Copenhagen

, no.

(
Portræt
); Poul Vad,
Hammershøi, værk og liv
, Copenhagen

, p.

f, ill. p.

; on portraits of Ida: Harald Olsen in
Vilhelm Ham-
mershøi, en retrospektiv udstilling
, Ordrupgaard

, pp.

-

(in English); Poul Vad, “Vilhelm Hammershøi, tre unge kvinder” in:
WilliamGelius (ed.),
Ribe Kunstmuseum 100 år,
Ribe

, pp.

-

; Susanne Meyer-Abich,
Vilhelm Hammershøi. Das malerische Werk,
Inauguraldissertation, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum

no.

.
T
he portrait of the artist’s wife Ida was painted as a preparatory work for a larger commissioned paint-
ing,
Three Young Women
from

, which was shown in Den Frie Udstilling that year and is today
owned by Ribe Kunstmuseum (fig. A). Ida (

-

) was the sister of the artist’s friend, the painter Peter
Ilsted, and it was during the summer of

during Hammershøi’s visit to Stubbekøbing on the island of
Lolland in southern Denmark that she and Hammershøi became engaged. In the large painting, we see Ida
flanked by her two sisters-in-law: on the left Ingeborg Ilsted, the wife of Peter Ilsted, and on the right Anna
Hammershøi, the artist’s sister. The three young women are seen full-length, sitting in a room which, is
merely suggested with great simplicity, behind them. As was typical in the

’s, the design is in the nature
of a frieze, with virtually no perspective effect, so that it reminds one both of paintings by James McNeill
Whistler (

-

), an artist whom Hammershøi admired and subsequently sought to make contact with,
and of the Florentine Renaissance painting that he had studied so intensively during the preceding years.
After their wedding in

, the Hammershøis went to Holland and spent the winter in Paris. In

they
visited a number of northern Italian cities including Verona, Venice, Bologna, Siena and Florence.
There was a strong bond between the artist and his mother and sister, but it was Ida who shared his
everyday life, and she appears as a model in many of his later paintings. Hammershøi painted several por-
traits of her, the first in

, where she is sitting indoors, dressed ready to go out (private collection). The
double portrait from

of Ida and Hammershøi himself (Davids Samling) says little about their mutual
relationship. Things are different in the enigmatic portrayal of the couple from

,
Two Figures
(Aros,
Aarhus Kunstmuseum), which contains both drama and melancholy.
In this portrait study, which is quite like the finished picture but seems to be more lush in its colouring,
we see that Ida has just the hint of a smile. The artist generally abstained from sweetness and presence in

]
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