Acquisitions News

Getty Museum Acquires Vilhelm Hammershøi Painting

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25, 1912, oil on canvas.

COURTESY THE GETTY MUSEUM

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has added Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25 (1912) by Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi to its collection. The work will go on view at the Getty Center tomorrow, December 18.

The painting was sold at Christie’s for $5.04 million on October 31. A representative for the Getty told ARTnews that the museum acquired the work from Jack Kilgore & Co. in New York following the auction.

Hammershøi was well known for his contemplative interior scenes, which he began creating in the 1890s. Many of these works were informed by the Copenhagen apartments in which he lived; Bredgade 25 was the address of the place he was living when he died, in 1916. Like many of his other paintings, Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25 lacks a human subject. The work shows a characteristically spartan domestic scene, with only an easel, a hung painting, and a table occupying two softly lit rooms.

Davide Gasparotto, senior curator of paintings at the Getty Museum, said in a statement, “Interior with an Easel, Bredgade 25 is a work of great power and stark beauty, mesmerizing in its sense of stillness and silence. All the elements of a great Hammershøi are here: the masterful rendering of the cool Nordic light, the exquisitely nuanced tonal harmonies, the geometric rigor of the planar composition, the shimmering weave of small, textured brushstrokes—all working to transfigure the mundane into something haunting and poetic. Hammershøi is one of Denmark’s most fascinating painters and the renewed interest and scholarship that his work is now receiving is well overdue.”

Timothy Potts, director of the Getty, added, “There could be no more appropriate subject for the Getty Museum, or any museum, and we are delighted to be able to add this extraordinary work by one of the most important Scandinavian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries to our collection.”

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