Vilhelm Hammershøi

 Vilhelm Hammershøi Dust Motes Dancing on the Sunbeams oil on canvas 70 × 59 cm 1900

The work of the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) is often described as low key and muted, but I'm not sure I entirely agree. It is true that his colors would be a challenge to name- what, for example, would you call the colors seen outside these window panes? But it seems to me that his use of a wide range of values, from deepest black to shimmering white, gives his work a powerful edge that I would never describe as "low key".

His compositions are completely considered yet have a natural quality, as though
gracefully balanced scenes just presented themselves to him. 

As for the light entering this room, warming a patch on the floor and reflecting off the white woodwork, has anyone ever done this better?

Inspired by the paintings of Gabriella Soraci, the month of October will be devoted to looking at paintings that use a window as a central subject. I plan to alternate between contemporary artists and artists from the past. If you have a suggestion (not your own work please), please email me an image along with a few sentences about the work.  


  1. The sublime Hammershoi painting brings to mind the light-infused, nuanced work of artist Nick Patten, whom I have been following and collecting for many years.

    Check out his website at: www.nickpatten.com.

    1. Ann, it seems that Nick Patten's website is down. I'm having trouble finding images and information online. If you know how I can find out something about his work, please email me. Thanks.

  2. My message doesn't seem to have gone through. I am just back from www.nickpatten.com and it seems to be up and running fine!

  3. We are huge fans of Nick Patten (www.nickpatten.com). He is by far one of the most talented artists around! My moods change when I view his work. Powerful...

  4. Thank you- I'll keep Nick Patten in mind for a posting this month.

  5. CRAZY for Nick Patten! He is as just as interesting as paintings are. A conversation years ago about talent: "I don't believe in talent, I believe in hard work". A top drawer talent with a blue collar sensibility.


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